Students Prepare for Hult Center Event

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EUGENE, Ore. — New this year at several after-school programs–Link Up, a program in which Eugene Symphony musicians teach students how to play music.

A local class is doing its final preparations before their big finale of performing at the Hult Center.

Kristen Halay knows music. She’s a flutist and can play just about any instrument, including the soprano recorder. In addition to playing with Eugene Symphony, she’s one of two teaching artists bringing music to after school programs.

Seventy-five students with Willamalane Parks & Recreation and 4J School District’s best after school program are taking part in this pilot program.

Third, fourth and fifth graders meet twice a week for an hour-long instruction.

Four weeks is all they have to learn two classical pieces.

This Carnegie Hall program is made possible by a $40,000 grant from Meyer Memorial Trust Awards. It covers the teachers and the recorders. The books are provided by Carnegie Hall.

The students explore melody using the soprano recorder, critical listening, improvisation and composition.

For many, it’s their first time playing an instrument.

“I find out how fascinated they are. They are really smart. They want to learn how to read music,” said Kristen Halay, Eugene Symphony Teaching Artist.

It’s coming down to the wire. Sunday, they’re rehearsing at the Hult Center. Next week they’ll be on stage at the Eugene Symphony Youth Concert.

“I don’t think it has hit them yet what it is like to stand with 80 symphony musicians and stand in front of 1,000 people in the audience,” Halay said.

For now, it’s practice, practice, practice.

Their concert The Orchestra Sings happens Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 10:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and again Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10:15 a.m.

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