Richard S. Davis’ column (TNT, 5-29) was a wonderful tribute to Synergia Northwest. I urge our regional paper also to feature similar synergies between youth and music that happen right in our own backyard. I offer two examples.
One is the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association which, for more than 50 years (Seattle’s Synergia is in its fourth year), has provided nurturing, all-inclusive programs for young musicians.
Since its creation in 1963, TYSA has grown to an internationally recognized youth orchestra organization comprised of more than 500 students from all over Western Washington. Their programs reach more than 8,500 schoolchildren through season series concerts, ensemble performances, school tour performances, chamber concerts, youth concerts and the String Orchestra Festival.
The second is the annual Orchestral Recital Series, an opportunity for music students to perform with a chamber orchestra on a noncompetitive basis. Students are accompanied by a 20- to 30-piece ensemble comprised of local college and high school instrumentalists. The series is sponsored by the Tacoma chapter of the Washington State Music Teachers Association in partnership with the University of Puget Sound. In its 21st year, the ORS features about 80 student soloists each year in a free public concert.
Davis’ column is headlined, “Every child should know the joy that music brings.” Agreed, but one need not travel north to witness this. It happens in Tacoma, too, and we’ve been at it awhile.