The Houston Symphony Residency at Lewis Elementary, presented by BBVA, helped bring music education to local third, fourth and fifth graders in the 2018–19 school year. Community-Embedded Musicians taught both in-school and after-school violin classes to some 230 Lewis Elementary students.
During a Symphony concert in Jones Hall on April 27, students performed in the lobby, showing off what they learned during the past year. We had a chance to chat with two of the rising stars of the program, Brihanna and Olivia, after their performance.
Houston Symphony: How did it feel performing today?
Brihanna: It felt really good, and I was proud of myself.
Olivia: At first I was a little nervous, but when you actually have a passion for the violin and just start playing, you feel the nerves going away, and then when you’re done you are just very proud of yourself.
HS: Has learning to play a new instrument helped you do better in school?
Brihanna: Yes, because I feel really happy and joyful when I play the violin, even though sometimes it is a little bit tiring, and then I really feel inspired to go back to school and work hard and get good grades.
Olivia: So, you have to work really hard when playing the violin. When I’m done playing the violin, I always go to my next class and work hard.
HS: What’s your favorite part about playing the violin?
Brihanna: I like when we use the bow, and whenever we are on the A and E string, and the sound of it.
Olivia: Mine is when you start playing and see all the different sounds and rhythms you can make, and it sounds so beautiful.
Thanks to Olivia and Brihanna for sharing their experience about performing and what the violin has meant to them this year! Press play below to learn more about the first year of the Houston Symphony Residency at Lewis Elementary. —Emily Nelson
The violins for the Houston Symphony School Residency were purchased with funds generously donated by the Houston Symphony League. The Houston Symphony Residency at Lewis is presented by BBVA. Additional support for the Community-Embedded Musicians comes from Spec’s Charitable Foundation, The Robert & Janice McNair Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Jay Steinfeld & Barbara Winthrop, and H-E-B.
Top image, left to right: Lewis Elementary students Olivia and Brihanna