Students listen to and react to music played for them Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 by Daniel Perry, Susan Wingrove-Reed and Mannfried Funk at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Students listen to and react to music played for them Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 by Daniel Perry, Susan Wingrove-Reed and Mannfried Funk at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Local musicians play to support youth ensemble programs

Big musicians came together to lend a hand to their little counterparts last weekend by putting on a chamber music concert.

The public was treated to a chamber trio last Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center, which was a fundraiser for an organization that supports local youth ensemble string programs.

Residents may have heard of the Preludes program that’s been operated by Paul Banks Elementary School for the last few years. This school year, Fireweed Academy began its own ensemble violin program, the Fireweed Frescoes. Now, a new group has formed that is dedicated to helping financially support these programs along with the Homer Youth String Orchestra: Orchestral Programs Unified Steering.

The initiative, also called OPUS, serves as a unified organization dedicated to youth string music that will integrate all three groups together. Residents can still donate to the individual programs if they want, or to OPUS, which will distribute funds between the three as needs arise.

In order to kick start that fundraising idea, three local musicians performed a chamber music concert at Bunnell Street Arts Center last Saturday for the public. Daniel Perry (who has volunteered with Preludes in the past) on the violin joined pianist Susan Wingrove-Reed and Mannfried Funk on the cello.

Before the actual fundraising concert, the three of them gave a taste of the music to the little musicians they were trying to support by performing short concerts at both Fireweed Academy and Paul Banks on Friday.

Beginning with a short, interactive story about the joy of music to get everyone in the mood, Wingrove-Reed led the students through a rollercoaster of chamber music from multiple composers along with Perry and Funk. The musicians also answered myriad inquiries from their curious little listeners before they had to head back to class.

Working through the programs at their schools, students from Fireweed and Paul Banks will perform their own concerts on the violin later this year.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

Mannfried Funk answers questions from Paul Banks Elementary School students after a chamber concert given by him and two others Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at the school in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Mannfried Funk answers questions from Paul Banks Elementary School students after a chamber concert given by him and two others Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at the school in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Daniel Perry (violin), Susan Wingrove-Reed (piano) and Mannfried Funk (cello) perform chamber music Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The group performed a concert later that weekend at Bunnell Street Arts Center asa fundraiser for a new group, Orchestral Programs Unified Steering, formed to help support local ensemble groups for youth. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Daniel Perry (violin), Susan Wingrove-Reed (piano) and Mannfried Funk (cello) perform chamber music Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The group performed a concert later that weekend at Bunnell Street Arts Center asa fundraiser for a new group, Orchestral Programs Unified Steering, formed to help support local ensemble groups for youth. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

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