A contingent of about 16 musicians from the Tucson Junior Strings (TJS) will share a somewhat eclectic mix of music by Dvorak and Mozart, as well as light classics, show tunes and perhaps even some Christmas carols when they return to the Arizona Senior Academy for an evening concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 17).
As in previous concerts, the violin, viola, cello and bass players will consist of high school students drawn from TJS members throughout the area. All of them are part of the elite Chamber I, the top of six levels of TJS orchestras.
The Tucson Junior Strings have been an important part of the Tucson music education scene for 46 years. Under the guidance, organization and dedication of Dennis and Anna Bourret (working together since 1970), along with Andrea Jameson, young Tucson string musicians have progressed through TJS’s six stages as they master increasingly difficult levels of music.
Working in concert with school orchestra programs, Director Bourret has emphasized, in particular, the gaining of leadership skills by playing without a conductor and continually rotating concert master and section leader assignments. Basic to the program is the cooperation of everyone for the benefit of harmony – both musical and interpersonal. Such an emphasis has resulted in TJS alums in leadership roles in many organizations – both inside and outside the musical world.
Summer tours are planned for each year, the 2014 tour heading to Boston, where TJS students will have the benefit of coaching sessions with members of the Boston Symphony and the New England Conservatory of Music. Closer to home, TJS will be conducting a week-long Music Camp in the Santa Catalinas.
Tucson Junior Strings has a comprehensive website that describes their program and entrance requirements thoroughly, at tucsonjuniorstrings.org .
Submitted by Janet Kerans, Academy Village Volunteer