Beautiful music begins at Paul Banks

The Paul Banks Preludes violin program has begun. All three first grade classes are participating and have spent one week making cardboard violins and one week learning with them. After a few more weeks of learning how to use and care for a violin, the students will have a chance to have a real violin to play. Those have arrived in Homer and we now have one classroom set (24 violins).

The generous donations from the people of Homer have made possible the beginning of this program, sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, that uses violin instruction to create better learners and better citizens. Every year our program will grow until every grade from kindergarten through high school will have the opportunity to participate in creating ensemble music.

The initiation of this program has been made possible because of the generous donations of Grace Ridge Brewing, the Kramer-Schaefer Family Trust, and two Homer Foundation managed funds: the Music Education Fund in Memory of Renda Horn, and the May Benson Charitable Fund. Many private donors are contributing both time and money to help provide this for the students.

Our dream is to provide enough violins for the entire first grade to perform together for the Paul Banks First Friday event next spring. We are building our fund to continue buying violins toward that goal. While the students will get to take their cardboard violins home, the real ones will remain in the Preludes instrument library for future students of the program.

Our profound thanks go to the community of Homer for their response to this opportunity to improve students’ learning ability — and, who knows — we might even wind up with a few musicians in the process.

Linda Reinhart and the Preludes Steering Committee