Summer Spotlights!

July 2016

by Rosalind Leavell

This is the first blog post in our “Summer Spotlights!” series. For the next few weeks I will be interviewing T.A.S.T.E. students who attended summer music programs this year. We want to hear all about their experiences!

This week we will hear from Alexander Earl, a cello student in our program, about his participation in the summer session of the Triangle Youth String Orchestra.

Alexander Earl is pictured above working hard in his cello lesson with me. He’s 10 years old now, and has been playing the cello since he was 2 1/2. This past summer he participated in the Philharmonic Association’s Triangle Youth String Orchestra Summer Session. In this summer youth orchestra, the kids had rehearsals once a week for 1 hour and 45 minutes. They had 8 rehearsals total and then the final concert. I asked Alex a series of questions about this experience:

ME: What did you like about the Triangle Youth String Orchestra?

ALEX: I liked that people were introduced to other people who played instruments and we got to learn new songs.

ME: What was it like being conducted for the first time?

ALEX: It started out weird, but I got used to it.

ME: Was it kind of similar to how I lead the Suzuki cello students in our concerts but with a slightly different technique?

ALEX: Yes.

ME: What did you learn and how are you a better player from your summer experience?

ALEX: They taught me about new techniques and more advanced songs.

ME: Like using a mute for the first time?

ALEX: Yes.

ME: Was it fun and exciting to play with such a big group of musicians in the orchestra?

ALEX: Yes.

ME: Would you like to participate in the same program again?

ALEX: Yes.

ME: Is there anything else you want to tell me about your experience?

ALEX: I was really happy that you and my friend came to my concert.

ME: I think we need one goofy question as well. What’s your favorite food of all time?

ALEX: Tacos!

Here’s a link to the Philharmonic Association’s Triangle Youth String Orchestra Summer Session:

If you had a fun summer music experience, I’d love to interview you about it! Please contact me at 

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