By Elizabeth Winchester
The sounds of kids playing their string instruments have become part of summers in Sea Cliff. That is thanks to Matthew Schneider, who beginning June 22, will lead his third annual SummerStrings! Orchestra Festival.
Schneider, a Sea Cliff resident and professional musician, will teach rock, blues, and improvisation to elementary, middle, and high school string players on weekday evenings at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The program will culminate with a concert on August 3 at Tilles Center’s Hillwood Recital Hall, at LIU Post.
Schneider has added several exciting opportunities to the program. Instructional classes include beginner violin, viola and cello groups, and an improvisation class for advanced students. There will now be two separate orchestras based on age and experience. Sea Cliff Stringers is for students who have completed one to three years of instrument training. Older kids in the Rockestra will perform with Kristen Henderson and Nini Camps from Antigone Rising, in addition to Schneider, other professional musicians, and the Festival teachers. “For me, it would have been a dream come true to play with a great rock band like Antigone Rising when I was a kid!” says Schneider.
Schneider is excited about the new classes. “When I’ve taught improvisation to string players as an orchestral workshop, the kids just light up when they let loose and jam!” he explains. Schneider says he is also “eager to have more beginner classes to help incoming third graders excel with their instruments when they begin instrumental music at school.”
SummerStrings! gives kids the benefits of a performing arts summer program with the freedom to do other activities during the day. It also allows kids to continue their musical studies in a fun setting.
Registration, due June 17, costs $360, and includes a Festival t-shirt. The program is open to students currently in second grade who have chosen to study a string instrument, through high school students with several years of orchestra experience.
Visit www.seacliffmusic.com for videos of last year’s Rockestra jamming, photos, and program details. Then, get ready for SummerStrings! to once again bow at the altar of rock!
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