BUCKHANNON — The sound of string instruments rang through the halls of The Way of Holiness Church Dec. 22 as the Upshur County Youth Orchestra practiced for an upcoming recital.
The Upshur County Youth Orchestra received a donation from the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee. The music director for the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee Mark Lynch said they donated a program called Notion Six to the orchestra to help them write music.
“The Jubilee is certainly in a position to help,” Lynch said. “Especially to help young musicians and try to pass on musical heritage.”
Lynch said the music group he belongs to, the Emerald Hills, also donated money for the symphony to buy music stands and it inspired him to make this donation.
“The symphony is completely supported by parent volunteers,” Lynch said. “This was a donation that was large enough to make a difference to do their writing.”
The founder of the Upshur County Youth Symphony Camden Wentz said he uses the program to write music, as opposed to writing everything by hand.
“I think it was a little bit difficult,” Wentz said. “We had to write everything by hand on a piece of paper with pencil and draw all the lines and it would take such a long time, not to mention this looks more professional.”
Wentz said he is eager to see what he will do with the software once the symphony adds more members and instruments.
“We’re trying to get more members and eventually try to get a full orchestra with string, brass, woodwind and percussion,” Wentz said. “Originally, I was thinking we would have auditions but I decided against that, so we can take anyone who just wants to learn right now.”
He said he did not want to put an age restriction on the symphony.
Wentz said he started the symphony about two years ago after he auditioned for the West Virginia symphony and decided he wanted to bring what he learned to Buckhannon.
“I wanted to bring what we have in Charleston and have more opportunities for students here that aren’t able to have that,” Wentz said. “I was thinking if an adult got a hold of it, they would go really slow. Professionals teach really slow and that is a good thing in some cases, but I have found ways to teach that I try to make them understand to make decisions for themselves so they don’t always have to ask questions. They will be able to say ‘I know how to do that.’”
The Upshur County Youth Orchestra is still looking for more members and Wentz said anyone who is interested can go to their Facebook page Upshur County Youth Symphony for information on how to join.