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LETU to Launch Youth Orchestra in January 2018


LeTourneau University is launching a regional youth orchestra for talented young musicians from 9th to 12th grades, from the Longview-Kilgore-Marshall areas, beginning in January 2018. Exceptions for uniquely gifted younger musicians in 7th or 8th grade may be considered.

"LeTourneau University's new Youth Orchestra will be led by our strings adjunct instructor Tristan Roberts, who has directed a youth orchestra through Kilgore College in the past and currently serves as Director of Orchestras at Kilgore High School," said LETU Director of Fine Arts Dr. Jim Taylor.

"A few years ago, the Longview Symphony disbanded its Longview Symphony Youth Orchestra, but now that LeTourneau University has launched our new Department of Fine Arts, the university is in a good position to launch this youth orchestra to serve our community and give local musicians playing experience and access to an ensemble," Taylor said.

Taylor said the city of Tyler has the East Texas Youth Orchestra, but nothing currently exists here in Longview/Kilgore/Marshall area.

"We want local parents and students to value the educational opportunities that are present right here in Longview, Texas," said LETU Dean of the College of Education, Arts and Sciences Dr. Larry Frazier. "By increasing our commitment to the Fine Arts, we are working to expand opportunities and increase the value of the LETU experience."

The new LETU Youth Orchestra will rehearse for two hours each Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Speer Chapel on the LETU main campus, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave. in Longview and will host concerts in the university's Belcher Center, Speer Chapel and elsewhere in the community.

Tuition for students to play in the youth orchestra will be $75 per semester per musician. All students will have to audition for a spot in the orchestra. In the Fall of 2018, plans are for the youth orchestra to be offered as a dual-credit course providing college credit for high school students. LETU students can be involved for free in the Spring 2018 semester, but then later can take youth orchestra as a one-hour course for college credit once the youth orchestra gets in the LETU course catalogue for Fall 2018. To schedule an audition or for more information, please contact Tristan Roberts at tristanroberts@letu.edu, or Dr. Jim Taylor, LETU Director of Fine Arts, at jimtaylor@letu.edu.

"We initially expect to attract area strings players who play violin, viola, cello, and double bass," Taylor said. "We are starting with just strings, but if we have enough interest later, we will add brass.

"This new youth orchestra expands LETU's footprint as we seek to become known for our ensembles and the arts," Taylor said. "We look forward to attracting bright, high-achieving students to our campus as well as providing our classically trained LETU students with a creative outlet, enriching the quality of their student life. We know that students who play instruments often outscore others on tests.

"We strongly recommend student musicians to be involved in their high school band programs, because we don't want to compete with that, but this youth orchestra will provide a supplemental opportunity for local young musicians and homeschoolers to play," said Taylor said.

LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. For additional information, visit www.LETU.edu.

Categories: Fine Arts