Beginning Violin "Virtuosi" Perform Wednesday Night in Ave Maria
Published on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:43
Twenty-nine young students, from Ave Maria, Immokalee and other nearby areas, will be presenting their first concert since the Ave Maria Beginning Violin Pilot Program began this past January. The program, which has been holding weekly sessions at the Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, was begun by Ave Maria resident, Mary Stuller and is taught by two instructors who are students at Florida Gulf Coast University, Kevin Seto, of Pembroke Pines, and Will Martin of Fort Myers. Pictured, rehearsing recently for Wednesday's performance, r-l: Clarence Jean, Tanohah Leon, Cleotilde Alvarado Macareno, Josie Schneider, Colin Nichols.
Rebecca Monnekulam, an AMU student, assists with the program and four AMU students will be giving private lessons to students in the program over the summer.
Julie Salinas, 12, of Immokalee (pictured below right, at right) says she's enjoying the program. "It's very fun," she says, "and I like it because it's something else you can learn."
Mr. Seto says he's been pleased with the experience. "It's been wonderful," he says. "These students are quick learners." Pictured left, Danielle Howard, Cristina Macareno.
Mrs. Stuller has been organizing musical learning experiences in Ave Maria for students for several years now, beginning with the Ave Maria Hometown Band which eventually evolved into the Ave Maria Community Orchestra. "It turned out there was more interest in an orchestra than a band," says Mrs. Stuller, "and this way, we could include the strings."
The scholarships Mrs. Stuller has garnered from area merchants and individuals have enabled many of the students to participate in the program which might otherwise be beyond their families' means. "I got involved with these activities because I have seen how music is a wonderful way to empower young people," she explained. Next up, she says, will be lessons taught through the Suzuki method for students ages four and five, beginning in the fall. Right, Linda Hernandez and Julie Salinas.
Francisco Villa, 11, of Immokalee, who has been taking violin lessons for two years, is enthusiastic about his experience with the program. "It's good," he says smiling. "They teach me a lot."
The performance is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, in the Ave Maria University student union ballroom. Tickets, which are $5 for adults, and free for those under 18, can be obtained from Mrs. Stuller at