Roxboro music students perform at Coventry library
The Coventry Village Library was the venue for a community concert on a sunny Sunday afternoon in early March. String, wind and brass students in Roxboro Middle School's Instrumental Music Department performed in small ensembles for their families and library patrons in the building’s large, ornate reading room.
Cellist Pamela Kelly, the parent of a Roxboro cellist, conceived and organized the concert to give students the opportunity to perform the music they would play at the Cleveland Solo and Ensemble Contest on March 11.
Roxboro’s orchestra conductor Nicole Clouser, band conductor Paul Hungerford, and string coach Stew Pharis were present to help run the concert and help the students polish their performances for the competition.
“What is so fantastic about performances like the one at the Coventry library is that it brings the community together in a meaningful way”, said Clouser. “The students gain relevant performance experience while honing their skills for contest. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
At the the Cleveland Solo and Ensemble Contest, participants play only before a judge and perhaps some family members. The Coventry library concert allowed the students to play for a full audience in a good acoustical space.
"The concert at Coventry was the first and probably only chance we’ll have to hear our son’s trio play,” said Dil Bartlett, parent of a string bass player. “We really enjoyed listening to all the groups.”
Clouser is well aware of the legacy of quality in the musical arts in the Heights schools. “The public performance allowed the audience to see the importance of music education, its relevance and meaning for the students and our community," she said. "Music education is preparing our students for success through teamwork, building self-confidence and achieving goals. The city’s support of the recent school levy makes these experiences possible.”
Kelly, who is on the teaching staff of the Cleveland Institute of Music, had three of her own students in the concert and has coached string players in the Heights schools in the past. She would like to schedule another concert next year. “It is important for students to perform, and to hear each other play,” she said.
Bruce Tyler is a native of Cleveland Heights and the father of a Roxboro Middle School student.