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PHILHARMONIC ASSOCIATION INC
January 20, 2011

My daughter, who is now graduating from a competitive program with a major in violin & viola performance, was a member of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic throughout high school, having previously participated in two other youth orchestras both here and in our previous state. All three were good learning experiences, but that offered by the Philharmonic Association is at a whole different level.

The Philharmonic Association provided an important compliment to her high school experience, and one from which she learned in multiple ways. It provided an opportunity to play more demanding music with a more accomplished and committed set of peers, served as a vital continuity element when her high school program experience a leadership change, gave her the opportunity to perform in a professional setting, built her confidence, reinforced her dedication, and helped open doors to related opportunities and experiences. She was already a committed musician, but her particiapation in this organization helped prepare her to be successful at the next level.

It was very heartening to see numerous other students -- with a range of strengths, challenges, and ambitions -- benefitting in similar ways. The professional music staff is clearly committed to preparing and presenting strong performances, but it seems to me that the top priorities are always the education and development of the individual student members. This is a value proposition that I admire and support.

Years of involvement with successful YMCA programs, the Boy Scouts, and Junior Achievement provide a benchmark for me. I have not had a child in the Philharmonic Association for a few years, but I am so convinced of the value this organization provides both its student members and the community that I now make the PA my main community committment. I feel my time and efforts here are productive for young people who want to play good music, whether they want to be professionals or not, whether they are affluent or poor. I believe things such as the joy of music, being responsible to yourself and to others, a work ethic, and continuing achievement help hundreds of children move toward being the kinds of adults who are vital to our community. That's what I see with the PA.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter was a committed musician when she earned a place in the Triangle Youth Philharmonic. Her experiences with that group taught her about music, but a whole lot more about herself, personal achievement, and collaborating successfully with people who have different strenghts, challenges, styles, and priorities. I beleive this experience was material in her college success and development as a person.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The PA has operated very successfully for more than 20 years. The greatest threat to its continued success is reliable access to rehearsal space for its large ensembles. It has successfully used WCPSS facilities, but there is no long-term commitments are made, and no assurance that they will continue to be available. In times of economic challenge, this is especially worrisome.

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I was firs a parent volunteer, then a board member, then board president, and now again a board member.