District News

Philadelphia orchestra violinist joins middle school strings for a day

Photo of Mr. Milman and Mr. Roby playing violinOn Wednesday, Apr. 12, violinist Paul Roby joined the joined middle school strings students. The 26-year veteran of the the world famous Philadephia Orchestra played for and played with Canajoharie students. Mr. Roby appeared at the invitation of his friend, East Hill music teacher Sue Crua.

He and Canajoharie orchestra teacher Leo Milman began the day by playing for the sixth grade. Mr. Roby then worked with students during their regular music lessons. In his mini clinics, he challenged students to listen for the emotion in a piece of music and then use various techniques to create that emotion with their instruments.

Together, they introduced students to classical works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart. They also demonstrated the violin's versatility by playing more recent tunes such as Over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz and Coldplay's Viva la Vida. Together, students and adults played Pachelbel's Canon.

Mr. Milman said he could not have been more pleased with the visit. The day  exposed students to music performance they would normally have to pay for and travel to see. It also gave them the chance to be a part by playing alongside a great musician.

Students were thrilled. Normally, they only listen to visiting musicians. This day, they had the opportunity to listen and play. Mr. Milman later said students told him they were excited by the opportunity.

Mr. Roby travels to the Capital District each summer when the Philadelphia Orchestra plays at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He came to know Mrs. Crua when he began renting her Saratoga home during his visits.

Caption: Strings teacher Leo Milman and Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Paul Roby demonstrate the versatility of violin for middle school music students.