The student musicians of the Symphony Orchestra were treated to a special visit by Detroit native Maestro Joseph Silverstein on Wednesday. Silverstein, in worldwide demand as both a conductor and violin soloist, is in town to conduct and play with the . He spent time with the students rehearsing their repertoire for the upcoming District Orchestra Festival, and their .
Maestro Joseph Silverstein held the rapt attention of every student in the room as he conducted, taught, and told stories from his illustrious music career.
Preparation of "The March to the Gallows" from "Symphonie Fantastique" by Berlioz was the focus of a portion of the evening, followed by Mr. Silverstein performing excerpts from his solo repertoire, including Bach's "Partita No. 3 in E Major." The floor was then opened for questions from the students, who were eager to learn about many aspects of life as a world-class musician. Mr. Silverstein explained that he practices as much as he can, usually 20-25 hours per week.
"I like to practice because I'm making something better," he said. "Practice requires concentration to produce improvement. Mindless repetition does nothing."
The most important piece of advice he had to offer the young musicians was to" "Try to become as proficient as you can on your instrument because it will help you with college admissions and friendships that will be lifelong," he said. "The benefits are so enormous that I can't recommend it enough!"
The maestro also advised the students to take to the streets, if necessary, to defend funding for music education.
"People who want to pay no taxes are not thinking of the future. They're only thinking of themselves," he said.
"The discipline and commitment I have because of music makes everything else I do better," the maestro explained. "I believe in the power of great music to do great things to enrich the lives of people."
This story was submitted by Patch Reader Mary Belden, president of the band and orchestra boosters at Andover High School.
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