“About 50 teenagers, senior citizens and generations in between gathered Thursday evening for South Puget Sound Community College’s new community orchestra program,” writes Lisa Pemberton in Sunday’s (9/28) Bellingham Herald (Washington). “It’s an effort led by Chip Schooler … 58, of Olympia [who] was hired as a faculty member at the Olympia-based college in late June. That’s when he was given the go-ahead to form the multigenerational performance orchestra featuring community musicians and SPSCC students…. The group … already has three performances scheduled during the upcoming year…. The community orchestra program can be taken as a for-credit course by SPSCC students or as a community education class for about $45 a quarter, Schooler said. Music educators can join the program for free and serve as its volunteers, and there are scholarships available for those in need…. ‘This is pretty much the group that a lot of us have been looking for,’ said double bass player Ben Barnes, 37, who does repairs and restorations at RL Ray Violin Shop in Olympia…. North Thurston High School senior Ryan Clark, 17, said he thought the program was ‘really cool. It’s even better that it’s for everybody. Symphonies are usually available just for youth, or just for adults.’ ”

Posted September 30, 2014