Community Gives Support to Philharmonic School Programs

rosman benny goodmanAfter a season of packed houses, world class guest artists and standing

ovations at the Porter Center, the Brevard Philharmonic boasts an ever

growing, supportive audience; however, as the music organization’s fund

drive goes into its second month, it has become clear that the work

the orchestra’s Music in the Schools outreach does for our county’s school

children is generating an especially enthusiastic level of giving.

On the 21st of March the Transylvania County Board of Education

voted unanimously to endorse the observance of March as Music in Our

Schools Month, following the lead of the National Association of Music

Education. Board member Betty Scruggs made the motion which was

seconded by board member Marty Griffin. With this resolution, our school

system rededicated itself to a music education program that will, “...reach

and positively influence each child.” The Brevard Philharmonic was

lauded before the motion was made as one of the community

organizations that plays a vital role in moving the school system

toward its goal.

Every year, Aleta Tisdale, current chair of the Philharmonic’s Music in the

Schools outreach, coordinates setting up volunteers and live performances

of professional musicians in the elementary schools. This past year all

kindergartners had a “Meet the Orchestra” encounter where they could see

and touch the instruments of the 4 instrument families. All first graders

enjoyed Camerata Antiqua, five musicians playing ancient woodwinds

wearing Renaissance era costumes. All second graders were bussed to the

Porter Center where the Brevard College Percussion Ensemble led by the

head of the percussion department introduces them to the world of

percussion instruments. All fourth graders were entranced by the Pyramid

Brass Quintet and all third graders wrote their own music that was

performed on the spot for them by the Opal Strings Quartet.

The program culminates each year when every 5th grader in the county

Is bussed to the Porter Center at Brevard College to experience the

Brevard Philharmonic’s live performance of Tchaikovsky's Peter and the


Finally, with the goal of making sure every student in our system who wants

to play can have access to an instrument, the Philharmonic started its

Donate Your Instrument Program, or DYI.

DYI accepts contributions of both instruments and money to get them in

playing condition. So far this year they have distributed violins, violas,

flutes, clarinets, trumpets and a snare drum to aspiring musicians in both

Brevard and Rosman middle and high schools. The goal is to grow the

program so that more instruments can be donated to more students

wherever there is need.

“We knew we had struck a chord with the community when we got a call

from the United Universalist Church men’s group, wanting to give to

our Donate your Instrument Program,” said Tisdale. “They

presented us with a check for an unbelieveable $581.” The donation was in

memory of one of their former members, Arnold Braun, a music lover

and avid supporter of music in education.

“If music is a part of a child’s education it can have a lasting impact on the

quality of his or her life,” said Tisdale. “I met a young woman at the

intermission of the last Philharmonic concert. She had been in the Rosman

marching band, and today she is a history major at Appalachian State. She

told me the story of a musician who had come into her 5th grade class

room and played the french horn. ‘Something just happened to me,’ she

told me. ‘I knew that I had to play the French horn.’ Today she credits that

single school exposure to her love for classical music and how it enriches

her life. This is why we do what we do,” said Tisdale.

To donate money or your own musical instrument, call the Philharmonic

office at 828-884- 4221, or drop it off at the DYI table at the Philharmonic’s

John Williams Extravaganza pops concert on May 6th at the Porter Center.