Live Blogging RT7.5

Good morning, we're getting started here in room 252 of the Healing Center.

Laura Patterson presenting for the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward.

Started in the Lower 9th, but grew beyond the capacity of the community center. Because so many students came from Arise Academy, they relocated to the school.

Work with primarily K - 8 students, with a special interest in local music. Focus is on string instruments, because those were the instruments they had available initially. In addition to traditional music instruction, this includes techniques on improvisation, which is a vital part of local music.

Modeled after the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra Program, and are partnered with the Harmony Program.

Goal is to help students through high school and into college if that is their chosen routes.

Assessment of student achievement indicates participation in the orchestra helps students with grades.

Number of performances on the books, and have several upcoming. Including Spring gala at Cafe Istanbul on April 21 from 6 - 8. Community members interested in supporting the program are encouraged to attend.

Little bit of press coverage: "Miracle on St. Claude" article in the Times-Picayune on Christmas Day.

Have a Twitter (YouthOrchL9thW) Feed and Facebook account, trying to build social media community to help spread the word about involvement and recruiting volunteers. Web and graphic design support appreciated.

March 21 Cocktails for a Cause at the Rusty Nail - fundraiser. 5-8pm

Fatima - youth mentor. Tulane student, participant in Harmony Project. Helps mentors with Youth Orchestra , playing violin since 9 years old. Being a part of the Harmony Project helped her become more disciplined due to practice scheduling, and socially through participation with ensemble groups. Developed lifelong friends who shared dedications. Even though she isn't majoring in music, it is something she is passionate about, and development of artistic side helps students become well rounded.

Wrap up: project is completely free of charge. Started with 9 students, now at 42.

Looking for volunteer academic tutors, volunteer staffers for March and April fundraisers, volunteers to help develop social media presence.

Not a classical music organization. Focus is on regional music, regardless of musical instruments used.

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