January 13, Dr. Stephen Posegate opened up the doors of the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music to the Riverside Art Academy for California Baptist University’s first official Youth Orchestra.
The Riverside Arts Academy has been working since 2012 to provide resources for visual and performing arts for underprivileged and at-risk youth. In relation to this, the academy has paired with the educational institutions within the Riverside community including CBU.
These partnerships created the Riverside Arts Academy Community Board, which started out in Los Angeles, which led to the Riverside affiliation of the Harmony Project.
The Harmony Project makes use of the teachers and facilities offered to the Riverside Arts Academy by the educational institutes in partnership.
It is a nationwide program dedicated to making a change in the lives of underserved youth in Riverside through a music program with structure. With these resources, they were able offer a complete music program to students involved in the Riverside Arts Academy.
Dr. Stee Posegate, assoiate professor of music at CBU, was the one who created a program for the Youth Orchestra at CBU. He invited students from the Riverside Arts Academy as well as Poly and Ramona high school and Matthew Gage Middle School, all of which had string programs. Noemi-Ruth Wheeler, violin instructor, is also a part of the program as the orchestra’s director.
The program offers private lessons taught by CBU music education majors, a music technicality class and an ensemble.
All of the private-lesson teachers are students at CBU who take time out of their schedules to offer these lessons to children for little to no pay.
The students, however, are getting music education experience they can put on their resume. Daniel Dominguez, first -year music composition master’s student, and Kristin Nyquist, senior cello performance major, are both student-teachers for the program.
“I like music because it’s the same everywhere — even kids who haven’t had the same opportunities that I’ve had can learn and interpret the same things from the same music, but (they) come from a completely different background thn me,” Nyquist said. “It’s changed my perspective that not everyone can have private lessons throughout his or her life. Being able to play music well is a privilege, so it’s really cool to offer that service to others.”
Dominguez explained that giving back to these students is a gift in itself.
“My pay is more than the money; it’s seeing someone make the decision to be a musician. I’m interested in giving someone the opportunity to say this is what he or she wants to do as a career,” Dominguez said.