The final orchestra concert of each school year in West Fargo is always the all-city concert. Grades 6-12 come together at the high school and play a few pieces individually as a grade grouping (6th, 7th, 8th, and 9-12) and then they play one piece all together. The whole concert is under an hour, but it is clear that countless hours go into the preparation for that one hour. All of those students coming together to create a beautiful noise doesn’t just happen as a matter of course; rather, it is an act of dedication, practice, guidance, and patience. The dedication and the practice comes from the kids, but the guidance and a whole lot of patience comes from the music teachers. Many of these kids began their musical career in school music in 6th grade. Such was the case with Cheyenne and her viola. I can tell you that she has come an awful long way from those first few months in 6th grade orchestra and the excruciating sounds she elicited from the viola.
The West Fargo School District has three teachers that work with the orchestra – Suzanne Larson and Lindsay Schwartz at the middle school level and Heather Klundt at the high school level. These three women are the place where orchestra lives in the West Fargo School District. They work with hundreds of students to create an understanding and appreciation of orchestra music. They develop the discipline and help feed the passion that creates musicians. I truly cannot imagine how they accomplish all they do at the level they do it at – they are clearly amazing.
I have said it many times before, but I’ll say it again – God bless the music teachers! The selfless souls that bring joy to not only those who learn to play, but also to all who have the opportunity to listen. It is a powerful and necessary contribution to our well-being – to express oneself through music, to feel the emotions of music, to allow music to feed our soul – and it often all starts in middle school music. What a gift these women and music teachers everywhere give us – they deserve our thanks and applause.
Thank you Heather Klundt, Suzanne Larson and Lindsay Schwartz – I offer you a standing ovation for all you do with the kids in the West Fargo School District!
Day one thousand four hundred and five of the new forty – obla di obla da