Young musicians in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Dallas Young Strings Program.

“The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Young Strings Program marked its 30th anniversary last year,” reports Noelle Walker in Tuesday’s (4/18) NBCDFW (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX) “Over the last three decades, generations of young musicians have learned to play string instruments with the goal of adding diversity to art spaces. ‘It changed my life,’ Maria Guadalupe Vargas Garcia said…. Vargas Garcia was admitted to Young Strings as a 7th grader at Greiner Middle School in Dallas. Today she is the Greiner Middle School Academy Head Orchestra Mariachi Director…. ‘I was very lucky to be chosen as a 7th grader and from there on, I started lessons with Sho-mei Pelletier.’ Pelletier is Associate Principal Second Violin with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Her late husband, Dwight Shambley, founded Young Strings. He spent much of his 48 years in DSO as the only Black musician on the stage. ‘Dwight’s goal was to change the face of the American orchestra, eventually, so there’s more diversity,’ Pelletier said. ‘There’s no better way to sell this program than the children that come to our youth concerts and see a diverse representation on stage.’… It boasts a 100% high school graduation rate among its more than 5,000 students over three decades.”