High Point YMCA offers Musical Alternatives

Belleair Bee

April 1-7, 1999

Eden Vaning-Rosen, Tampa Bay Golden Strings Youth Orchestra Conductor, and Tom Wilkins, Florida Orchestra resident conductor, welcome guests to the High Point YMCA Musical Alternatives inaugural event.

  • Children receive quality music training and the chance to set lifetime goals.

The High Point YMCA kicked off its Musical Alternatives program March 21 with a concert by the Tampa Bay Golden Strings Youth Orchestra under the direction of Professor Eden Vaning-Rosen.

Adding to the excitement of the kickoff event was the readinfg of a congratulatory letter from Gov. Jeb Bush, who commended "all who are supporting this program which will afford many children the opportunity of learning the art and skill of playing the violin."

Receiving special recognition from the governor for the "vision and dream of this endeavor" were HighPoint YMCA director Henry Muhammed, the Clearwater-Dunedin Junior League and the Florida Orchestra resident conductor, Maestro Tom Wilkins.

Muhammed opened the program by pointing out that music helps children academically while boosting their self-esteem and giving them a sense of accomplishment. Maestro Wilkins told the 30 children enrolled in Musical Alternatives, "you are in for a tremendous ride and you are going to discover two words as long as you continue ... 'I can.' "

The High Point string program provides an opportunity for underpriviledged children to learn to play the violin and set their sights on youth symphony participation and perhaps a college scholarship later on. Musical Alternatives is filled to capacity with others waiting to join. Organizers would love to see the program go nationwide.

Community donations are needed for the purchase of student violins and materials, and for instructor fees. For more information, call the High Point YMCA at 507-9622.