Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on January 18, 1950 · Page 5
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January 18, 1950

Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 5

Alton, Illinois
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 18, 1950
Page 5
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY II, 1950 ALTON EVENING TELEGRAPH 'Strings Attached* Once More Vtolln Clat«fw Set tip In Ihiklle Fof tome time the Alton public ftchoolt music program has been moving Along with no strings attached. Now It's different. , Leroy Fritz, brought here this fall to concentrate more effort behind the junior high band program, has been developing a stringed Instrument instruction plan since the middle of last In one way his program It pioneering. In another, it isn't. For year* the high school had an orchestra. In fact, the orchestra preceded the band by perhaps a decade or two — or more. Rut (or a time recently all the high school music program virtu* ally came apart at the seams. When Guy Duker came here to assume direction of the high school band, he quickly diagnosed the case as requiring extreme concentration on one phase to get It moving again. He picked band, which was a "natural" for him, since his main experience had been there, and could be better promoted becaui: of Its natural appeal. Then the high school chorus rose again under the leadership of Mrs. Doris Sights Rue. Both chorus and band have been extended into all three Junior highs, and Into some grade schools. This year, with the schools' new* found financial muscle, these twin programs could be extended right down through the grades for more than a year. This fall an instrumental teacher, Miss Betty Bond, was employed to bring to the lower grades the benefit of instrumental music. For some years It had appeared desirable to establish an adequate orchestral instrument program in the schools. Frltr, • String Player Junior High Band director Fritz was especially selected this fall when he came here because of hilt skill in string playing, though he also has high ability in hand instruments. About the middle of the semester now ending he had a few responses from pupils interested in playing instruments of the violin family. Then just before the Christmas holidays he sent home letters by the students to parents announcing plans to start stringed Instrument classes. The reaction was somewhat overwhelming— in one way, at least. To date he's had, through East and Roosevelt junior high schools, 48 applications for instruction in strings. Also, to date, there are but 24 instruments to go around, among the 48. He points out that, while prices of violins probably range higher than those of any others (ancient Stradivorius fiddles can go over $100,000) the beginner can get off more cheaply than on practically any other Instrument. Some models, for instance, can be had for around $25 or less— with bow. And, ht added, they usuaUy prove adequate for the beginner, who will play for some time, anyway, before he or anyone else could appreciate the difference In tone he could get from the cheap violin or a finer one. Evan a good violin, he pointed out, can be had for less than It's necessary to pay for just * fair clarinet or cornet. Deitpte the fact, parents of some beginners have been hesitant about Investing in Instruments, until they see how tHe young students "take" to them. Three te • FMdte So, while he's dividing available instruments among his students (in one or two cases, three to a violin), Fritt also has launched an appeal to those who own—and no longer use—violins in the com* munity. He already has received on excellent Insrument including case and two bows from one couple, Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Krtnard, 1711 South Rodgers avenue. He hopes (or more to tide the classes over. While the high school has had an orchestra in years gone by, the major part of the string program can accurately be called pioneering. •» Orchestras In the paft all depended upon already-developed players. Arid at one time there were quite a few in the high school. As a matter of fact,/some years back the then director of the high school band found It necessary to fill out his instrumentation with several 'cellos and a few violins he had available, just to made a showing when Alton was host to the district band contest. One of the judges chided him gently about his instrumentation. "Is it bird or beast?" he asked in his written comments. Another complimented him for doing the best he could with what he had. This, however, will be the first time that a calculated effort has Been undertaken to teach classes In strings, either In the high school or In the grades. Into Lower Grades Frit* has hopes. the program can be extended below junior high perhaps to fifth and sixth grades—on a general basis. At present, he said, Miss Bond has several children studying violin in these lower grades. But the program eventually will be broadened so that by time these students reach high school, they will be fully prepared for advanced ensemble playing. At the top of the pyramid rests the Alton Civic Orchestra, waiting to provide an outlet .for players developed in the school program. It can accommodate only a limited number of instrumentalists developed In the band program HEADACHE Cipudint h tfct. tKoic* of tfceuwndi tfl r«lit»i limpU ft«idacltt tnd MU- rtlfk piin. IK balanetd formula contain! ingroditnts ctltbritfd for thtir •ff«cti«*ntit in -•litvin-j HUM paint and-tMthmi ntrvtt UMtd by th* pain. CapudiH acrt fail'bacauta it'a Itaiiid—in inptdiwiri arc already dii- aolvtd—all rtady to act. Uio at di- roettd. I5e, 30c, 60c aiiM. beceuie of the need to avoid an ovettatftnce In Instrumentation. But once the string program is developed In the schools, the Civic Orchestra will be waiting to reelve practically an unlimited number of its products as toon as they aqulre proper proficiency. Instructor fritz, himself, Is n member of the Civic Orchestra, and occasionally has directed re-! hearsals of it when Conductor Max Stelndel was kept away by* commitments to the St. Louis Symphony, in which h»s is a 'cellist and personnel manager. Bait-known homercfMdyto nlimAtnssIs MEYER HURWITZ OFFERS QIFTS TO PLEASE ORADUATES $88.75 Veri-Thin "Alan" •CHOOSE FROM OUR SELECTION OF DIAMONDS, SILVER, FOUNTAIN PENS, LIGHTERS AND OTHER FINE GIFT ITEMS. $1.00 A Week. NO EXTRA CHARGE FOR CREDIT! 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