In high school, I played the trumpet. I even made it into the chamber orchestra. Every day, I lugged the heavy case to school on the metro bus. It was a cumbersome and grueling task so much so that I removed the instrument from the case wrapped it in a towel and then into a shoulder bag that concealed exactly what it was that I was carrying. It made the load lighter but it also drew less attention to me from other school kids who often made cruel comments about my instrument case or just laughed. It’s tough being interested in things that are not exactly popular or considered the “in” thing especially in your teens. I was often afraid to practice my trumpet at home because I didn’t want the neighborhood kids to hear me and tease me on how horrible I was. And while I never became a virtuoso, my parents made me feel exceptional and were always in attendance at my performances.
Another great thing that came out of my short-lived music experience was my introduction to classical music and learning how to read music. It’s not an easy task and can be a bit frustrating at times. I applaud the children who have decided to stick with it be it for a desire to become a classical musician or just a hobby.
While this talent is often overlooked at a young age, this fall Classical 94.5 WNED will start production on a program that showcases the rising stars of classical music with the Young Performers Series. The program will feature accomplished regional musicians (including vocal soloists and groups) from Western New York, Southern Ontario and Northwestern Pennsylvania. These performances and interviews will be recorded primarily in the WNED Studios and aired during the 13 part series. While the program is not a competition, Classical 94.5 WNED Program Director Gabe DiMaio views it as a another way for young classical enthusiasts to be on the radio promoting themselves, their schools and their school districts.
Calls for submissions will begin soon and the program is expected to air in the late winter or early spring. With music and art programs continuously being cut from academic programs, it has become difficult to motivate students to learn more about classical music on their own. This Young Performers Series may add that spark to encourage would-be future concert masters to keep the music playing!
Did you play an instrument as a child? If so, what did you play?