With a recent grant, the music program at St. John Bosco Catholic School in Ahwatukee Foothills will be expanding its music program and was able to invite guests to the school for a unique performance on Tuesday.

The Phoenix Symphony String and Woodwind ensembles visited the school and played two different performances for the students on March 6. It was a way for the students to see professional musicians at work and encourage them, if they have the desire, to strive for it as a professional goal themselves, one teacher said.

“They get to see an application of what they are learning in the classroom and they are seeing a live representation of the instruments,” music teacher Roberta Hamilton said. “I usually pre-teach before a performance like this and we talk about the four families of instruments, string family, names of instruments, so they have live instruments to see.”

The school received a $2,000 grant from Target and part of that was used to bring the Phoenix Symphony String and Woodwind ensembles to the school. The rest will go toward buying additional string instruments for the school’s own groups.

“This year we have the chamber orchestra and some of the money will be used to purchase instruments that the students can borrow instead of paying for their own, because it can be expensive,” Hamilton said. “It’s important to play with other kids and it’s a way of sharing with the community.”

The String Ensemble, comprised of 20 members of The Phoenix Symphony string section, has presented programs for the greater Phoenix area for nearly 30 years and has engaged Valley students from all over.

The Woodwind Ensemble will move into its third year of performing throughout the Valley — serving to develop student understanding of the orchestra’s instrument families.

“We started a string program at school this year and part of the money brought the symphony here,” Hamilton said. “I got my request in very early to make sure they would make it.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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