Strings in the Schools
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Carson City Symphony was founded in 1984 as the Carson City Chamber Orchestra and gave its first concert in October that year. It is a community orchestra open to amateur and volunteer professional musicians. Members come from all walks of life and have ranged from elementary school students to senior citizens. The Symphony performs five or more concerts each year for audiences in Carson City. It also has performed in Minden, Gardnerville, Fallon, South Lake Tahoe, and Virginia City. We play many works by contemporary composers and have commissioned and premiered several pieces.

Carson City Symphony's

"Strings in the Schools"



"Strings in the Schools" Fall Concert, Dec. 9, 2010 - All levels performing together.

Click here for an article by Erin Meyering about Strings in the Schools entititled "Carson City student orchestra program beats challenging budget odds." It was written in conjuntion with the Second Annual "This is Not a Christmas Concert" Concert on Dec. 8, 2011. There is also a video embedded in the article. (See video by clicking here.)

Carson City Symphony's comprehensive program of string instruction, inspired by the teachings of Kato Havas, creator and author of The New Approach to Violin Playing, provides free beginning violin lessons for students grades 2-5 and ensemble/orchestra experience for all interested string students in the Carson City School District. Tuition and books are subsidized by the Carson City Symphony Association. The instructor is Sue Jesch, Carson City Symphony's Education Director and former Concertmaster, assisted by Laura Gibson, Carson City Symphony Associate Concertmaster. Enrollment is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Some scholarships are available for instruments. Please do not rent or purchase an instrument until after the first class. To register, call Sue Jesch at 775-450-5584.

Carson City Symphony's after-school, tuition-free, Strings in the Schools program began in 2004. It is open to public-, private-, and home-school students, classes meet at Bordewich-Bray Elementary, Empire Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary (cellos only), and Carson Mall during the school year.

In-school orchestra classes meet daily during the school day at Carson Middle and Eagle Valley Middle Schools, and at Carson High School. Instruction is by Carson City School System string teacher Brian Fox, who is the Carson City Symphony Concertmaster.

Strings in the Summer, a six-week program, meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the summer. It is a program for string players of all ages. Topics include "Introduction to Fiddle and Folk Music" (Mondays), "Fiddlin' Fun" (Wednesdays), and "String Ensemble" (Thursdays). Each class features at least one new tune.


(Click here to hear STRAZZ on YouTube playing a composition written for them by Gary Edwards. Recorded by Gary Jesch 12/10/2011.)


Carson City Symphony's youth programs are funded in part by grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, Partnership Carson City, The Terry Lee Wells Foundation, Soroptimists International of Carson City, and private donations.
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Carson City Symphony guest soloist Andrew Sords, on left, listening and critiquing one of our young students. Many of Carson City Symphony's guest artists do outreach activities in the schools.


As seen from this photo from a Strings in the Summer 2007 performance in the Carson Mall, the program is a multigenerational endeavor. Adults participate along with the young musicians. These "mentors" help convey the message that music is not just an activity for the young. Rather, it is a life-long pursuit.

"Strings in the Schools" is a member of Carson City Arts & Culture Coalition For information click here.


STRAZZ, the advanced jazz and fiddle ensemble, performed for the Nevada Governor's Arts Award Ceremony in Carson City on March 2, 2011, at which Sue Jesch was honored for her leadership in Arts Education. To see the video on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5pFMX0Xysw. STRAZZ has performed for the "Jazz & Beyond: Carson City Music Festival" in 2013 and a number of previous years. They also performed for the Nevada Public Works Association Conference dinner on Sept. 26, 2013, at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.

This page last updated 2/11/2017


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