Lynchburg-area schoolchildren who have been learning music theory and piano from University of Lynchburg students will present their annual spring concert on Tuesday, May 12, at 6 p.m. in Sydnor Performance Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.
The LC music department operates Music Bridge in collaboration with The Ellington Fellowship, a local nonprofit that hosts concerts at a downtown theatre and also seeks to cultivate and promote musical talent in the Lynchburg community.
The Ellington created the Music Bridge program in 2003, and University of Lynchburg became involved in 2009. LC music students, including some who are majoring or minoring in music education, teach weekly classes on music theory and performance.
Local children enter the program in first or second grade and continue with the group lessons through fifth grade. After that, some students opt to continue participating and taking private lessons from LC students.
The program has a track record of helping students understand and appreciate music, as well as polishing their basic performance skills, said Dr. Kara Eaton, the LC music professor who supervises the Music Bridge program. “We’re not about creating concert musicians; we’re all about creating lifelong learners and lifelong musical opportunities,” she said.
In addition to fostering a love of music, the program builds self confidence in the participants. “It has a lasting impact on the community students,” said James Arnold, vice-president of The Ellington Fellowship.