Source: Upper Columbia Academy
[March 5, 2007] Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) has added a strings program through the Spokane Youth Orchestra (SYO) to UCA’s music options. Private string lessons have been offered at UCA for many years, but this is the first year credit has been given for participating in the SYO.
Every Monday night a group of five UCA students go into Spokane and participate as members of the orchestra, playing violins, the trombone and cello. “We are thrilled to offer this option for serious young musicians,” states Curtis Anderson, UCA music department chairman. "These students are still members of UCA’s band and choraliers; but they just want to add this orchestra experience to their growth.”
The director of the SYO, Verne Windham, is very knowledgeable concerning the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, thus making all Sabbath performances and practices optional. “This is such a great way to broaden the musical experience of our students, and one that will last a lifetime,” says Dean Kravig, UCA band teacher.
One such event occurred recently as the SYO took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the US Figure Skating Championships held in Spokane at the end of January.
Another of UCA’s string players, Chris Patchett, lives with his family in Wisconsin. Last year he chose to attend UCA over academies geographically closer to his home because of the great opportunities in academics and music. Each week he attends violin lessons in Spokane to continue his studies. He and his sister were recently featured on 3ABN’s Christmas holiday special held in Orlando, Fla. His reward for the many hours of practice comes from knowing that he’s reaching people around the world for Jesus.
Through both of these examples people in communities near and far are learning about Upper Columbia Academy and the many opportunities young people have to share their God-given talents with others.