Reaching Musical Heights to showcase CH-UH music education
Reaching Heights, in cooperation with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, will present the third Reaching Musical Heights concert at Severance Hall on April 11.
The journey to the concert began last summer with the naming of concert directors Daniel Heim and Richard Waugh. Both Heights residents are well aware of the life-changing benefits of music education. Cleveland Orchestra member Waugh recalls that while in the 4th grade, he became mesmerized by the sound of the violin. When he learned that students who wanted to study the violin would be given free music lessons at school, “It was like winning the lottery.”
“These experiences weren’t just about music,” he said. “They were about self-motivation, self discipline and learning a sense of responsibility. These were experiences that helped to shape my overall character.”
This viewpoint is shared by current Heights High senior Joshua Toombs and recent graduate Matt Zucker. The 2011 Reaching Musical Heights Concert will enable Toombs, who is president of the school's cappella choir, to return to the Severance Hall stage, where he performed in 2007 as a member of the Wiley Middle School Challenge Choir. “At the time,” Toombs said, “I don’t think I understood the significance of being on that stage. To be able to return there as a senior, in a leadership position and with many of my friends from Wiley, is a real honor.”
Zucker, a 2010 Heights High graduate said. “Music has helped me build determination and time-management skills. It has also helped me learn to interact with others and to work hard to achieve my goals.”
Zucker, now a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, also participated in the 2007 Reaching Musical Heights concert as a member of the Heights High Symphony. “It was an amazing opportunity that in my case was a career-influencing experience,” he said.
This concert will showcase the depth, variety and quality of music education found in the school district. It will also raise funds to support Reaching Heights’ s music education programs. For nearly 20 years, Reaching Heights has worked to enhance CH-UH music education through its summer music camp and private music lesson scholarships for middle school students.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.clevelandorchestra.com. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. A pre-concert benefit begins at 6 p.m. For more information about the benefit, call Reaching Heights at 216-932-5110.
Saroya Queen-Tabor is a member of the Reaching Heights board and a development director for Senior Outreach Services in the Fairfax neighborhood of Cleveland.