In Tuesday’s (11/25) News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), T. Keung Hi writes that on Tuesday orchestra supporters “pleaded with the Wake County school board … to add more strings programs to North Carolina’s largest school district. Without strong middle-school programs teaching stringed instruments such as violin, viola and cello, the boosters warned, that the remaining high-school programs will become endangered…. According to the school district, seven of Wake’s 104 elementary schools, 15 of the 33 middle schools and 13 of the 27 high schools have strings programs or orchestras…. Most, if not all, of Wake’s secondary schools have bands…. School administrators said decisions about strings programs are made at each school. Principals weigh factors such as student interest, if strings classes fit into the school’s culture, and if there is money available to staff the program…. Margaret Partridge, executive director of the Philharmonic Association in the Triangle, said she’s seen no drop in interest in Wake … [and] has expanded the number of youth programs … because parents have complained they can’t get strings in schools.” School board member Jim Martin said, “If we have the resources, these are the things that can be done.”

Posted November 26, 2014