CLARKSVILLE — Renowned American violinist and conductor Joshua Bell once said that, “When you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller, and you’re telling a story.” It is a gift to embrace such a talent and an even greater gift to share that talent with an audience who when listening gets lost in the music and becomes part of the story.
Julianna Hrebenach, a fifth-grade student attending Clinton-Massie Elementary School, is well on her way to becoming such a storyteller. Hrebenach began taking group violin lessons in early 2011, but after recognizing that their daughter’s interest and natural talent was quickly evolving, her parents, Stephen and Minyu Hrebenach, arranged for their daughter to take private lessons with Mark Reis, a violist with the Dayton Philharmonic and a viola and violin teacher.
Hrebenach continues to study under Reis’ direction meeting 30 to 45 minutes each week for violin lessons and then practicing every day from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how much material she has, whether she is becoming familiar with new pieces of music, or whether she is refining pieces she already knows and plays well.
“Julianna has used the Suzuki Method of musical instruction to begin learning the violin at a very early age,” said her father, as Hrebenach’s parents believed it was an important element of their daughter’s education to begin playing an instrument early.
Having cultivated and honed her skills, Hrebenach aspired to take her talent to the next level and auditioned for the Dayton Philharmonic Junior Strings Orchestra last spring and was selected to play in this year’s ensemble.
Created in response to requests from string teachers and music educators for an orchestra to encourage students who are not quite ready for the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings Orchestra, the Junior Strings Orchestra opens auditions to all string students in grades three through eight and currently has 38 members representing 21 different schools from across the greater Dayton region.
Hrebenach’s ensemble rehearses two hours every Sunday and has eleven rehearsals before performing their concerts—one mini concert in the fall and one full concert in the spring.
Having the opportunity to attend Hrebenach’s November 15, performance Curt Bradshaw, coordinator of gifted services with the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, said he was quite impressed with the orchestra’s performance.
“Julianna is an exceptionally gifted musician, and this experience with the Dayton Philharmonic Junior Strings Orchestra is encouraging her to follow her passion for music,” said Bradshaw. “Julianna began playing the violin when she was four-years-old and has shared her talents with her classmates at Clinton-Massie. I am confident that she will continue to grow as a young instrumentalist in this orchestral ensemble.”
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.