Published 11:07 am Sunday, March 9, 2008

By Staff
It’s entertaining. It’s educational. It’s free. It’s much more.
The Eastern Youth Orchestra returns to Washington today for a performance at the Civic Center at 3 p.m.
The young people in this group deserve to see a full house. It would provide them with encouragement. It would provide them with pride.
The Eastern Youth Orchestra, made up of middle-school and high-school students from 10 eastern North Carolina counties, was established 27 years ago to enrich the education of dedicated young musicians in eastern North Carolina, including many who have no orchestra programs within their public school systems.
The HeART of the City concert is presented to the public by the Beaufort County Arts Council and City of Washington.
While the concert will showcase the musical talents of the orchestra members, there’s more to the performance than just the music. Playing in such an orchestra requires these young musicians to have commitment and discipline. Those are required for the endless hours of individual practice and group rehearsals to pay off.
Bissinger also pointed out something else that playing with the orchestra accomplishes.
If a student’s participation in the orchestra accomplishes nothing other than keeping him or her out of trouble, it’s worth it.
The Eastern Youth Orchestra comprises three orchestras — the Preparatory Youth Orchestra, the Junior Orchestra and the Senior Orchestra. The Eastern Youth Orchestra, based at East Carolina University in Greenville, has a reach far beyond the university’s campus.
Just as ECU allows some high-school athletes to further their education by way of scholarships to attend the university and play sports, ECU uses the Eastern Youth Orchestra to provide the region’s young musicians opportunities to continue their education, whether that education be of an academic nature, musical nature or both.
While the young musicians are developing their motor skills, memory and sequencing abilities, audience members will have the opportunity to further develop their appreciation of music and the dedication and commitment some of eastern North Carolina’s young people are exhibiting as they perform.
Area residents should fill each seat at the Civic Center this afternoon. Imagine what seeing a full house would do for those young musicians in the orchestra. If they spend hours each week rehearsing, people should support these young musicians.
The message the audience sends to them is as important as the musical message they send to the audience.
The audience’s applause and appreciation will be music to their ears.