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Wanted: String musicians

By Staff
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Music teacher Lora Tucker works with Benjamin Johnson and Nancy Moore as other members of the string group prepare to practice. They include, front row from the left, Annie Morgan, Elona Coats, Beau Haguewood, Vanda Moore and Arica Evans. On the back row, from the left, are Heather Dunnom, William Tucker and Karen Coats. Tucker, a music teacher for 25 years, is starting a string group for children in the Meridian area. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
May 5, 2002
Violin, cello, viola and bass. What do all these have in common?
They are all members of the string family of instruments. And longtime music teacher Lora Tucker said people who can play these instruments are in high demand.
So Tucker is starting a group for people who play string instruments and want to perform in public something that currently doesn't exist in the Meridian and Lauderdale County area.
"A lot of students may have put their instruments away, tucked under their bed or in their closet, and they would get them out and play if they only had an opportunity," she said.
In fact, just before the annual Arts in the Park festival in April, Tucker received a call from one of the event's organizers requesting a group of musicians to perform.
"I have a lot of string students, but none who actually played together," said Tucker, who has taught music for 25 years. "That call is what really inspired me to start this group."
Group rehearsal
The group has had one rehearsal with about 12 musicians, age 7 to 17, participating.
"I've even had a few adults want to play," Tucker said. "I would love to have students who play the cello, but right now it's all violinists. But as the group grows, I'm convinced we'll have all the instruments represented."
Some students interested in the string group have studied music for years, but have not played their instruments for a long time.
"It's a shame to spend that much time learning to play an instrument and not have the opportunity to play it," she said.
Tucker believes music adds to a child's life and enhances learning in many areas.
"They experience the shear enjoyment of playing in a group. They learn to visit together and encourage each other," she said.
Performing music
Tucker will hold six new lessons for the string ensemble group next month. She hopes to hold regular rehearsals by the fall and perform at events during the holidays.
Tucker herself has played the piano since age 5, the violin since age 9 and the organ since 12. Her children, William, 14, and Jason, 15, also are musicians.
"They are used to children coming over all the time for lessons. The plans for the string group have actually inspired my 14-year-old to practice daily, and I was thrilled about that."
Tucker said the group will provide children with opportunities they won't get in school.
"I want to do something for my community. The benefits will be to encourage string players, attract new players and allow them to experience all the rewards music has to offer," she said.
To find out more about the string group, visit Peavey Melody Music on 22nd Avenue in downtown Meridian or call Lora Tucker at 693-7086.
The next rehearsal is 2 p.m. May 11 at First Presbyterian Church.
Students will perform for parents at 3:30 p.m.,
followed by refreshments.