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LSYO to perform Tuesday

The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra will hold its annual fall concert on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at LaGrange College’s Callaway Auditorium.

Multiple groups will perform and will demonstrate the music they have learned during the semester. The concert will show how much they have improved. 

“Music is a skill that stays with someone for the rest of their lives,” said Callie Hammond, the director of several of the after-school youth orchestra programs. “They can still play an instrument and make music when they’re 90-years-old.”

Hammond, who has been teaching for 22 years, directs the Sprouts program for young elementary school children, the Strings Attached Program for third through fifth graders and the String Ensemble for middle school students. Hammond hopes that all of these after-school programs will continue to grow not only in numbers, but also in their ability to reach all Troup County School System students. 

“Playing a musical instrument is the only thing that gives your brain a complete workout,” Hammond said. “And besides the fact that it’s good for your brain, it enriches your soul. It can never be taken away from you. It links us through history. It links us across the world.”

These reasons, among others, are why Celeste Myall, the director of the high school orchestra, firmly believes that orchestra should be reinstated into public schools. 

“The main thing about orchestra is that it’s good for the students to have another outlet at school,” Myall said. “I would like [orchestra] back in the schools because I think it’s the right thing to do for the schools and for the students.”

Myall has been teaching for 40 years and said that there is nothing more rewarding than teaching. Myall also said that her goal in life would be to see classical musical open to everyone. 

“In this group, and especially Strings Attached, we really try to reach out to as many income levels and nationalities as we can,” Myall said. 

“I think classical music is very difficult to develop an appreciation for if you don’t start until you’re an adult.” 

Though the youth orchestra programs currently take place only after school, the students have practiced a lot. 

“There will be a lot of kids on the stage and a lot of different kinds of music,” Myall said. 

“I hope a lot of people will come Tuesday.”