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Sweet symphony

Scott Flavin and Ross Harbaugh, music professors and guest performers with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, talk with music students of Bothwell Middle School. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)

By TRINITY CAREY

Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — The sounds of string instruments filled the Bothwell Middle School music room Friday morning, but this time it wasn’t from the students.

Violin soloist Scott Flavin and cello soloist Ross Harbaugh, both professors at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, stopped by the sixth grade music class to perform for students and answer any questions they may have about being professional musicians and music teachers.

“We’re really committed to passing on the love of music and music education,” said Flavin. “I think it’s so important for kids. It expands their minds in so many ways. There’s been studies done about the impact of music on math skills and reading and logic and we feel that’s so very, very important and true. So every time we travel we try to visit local schools.”

Flavin and Harbaugh played scales and a sample from the piece they will perform with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra this evening.

“(We’re) playing an amazing piece by Johannes Brahms the great composer and it’s a unique kind of piece because it’s a concerto for not one instrument but two instruments, and the genesis for the piece was Brahms had a friend who was a violinist and they had been fighting for a long time and they made peace with each other and as a gift this great composer wrote this concerto for him,” Flavin explained. “There’s a lot of camaraderie in this piece, big huge orchestra, such exciting virtuosity, a powerful, powerful piece.”

Flavin said it’s fun to teach because students have an unmatched energy and passion for music. Being exposed to professional musicians and music teachers at a young age was inspirational to him as a child and Flavin hopes to pass that on, he said.

Harbaugh agreed that by visiting classrooms the two hope a passion for music may spark in a student.

“If young people are exposed at a very young age to the wonders, the magic, the joy of live performance and hearing different sounds work together beautifully, it’s something that they may put on hold for awhile, but they’ll never forget and they’ll come back to it at some point, and we’re hoping to plant those seeds today,” Harbaugh said.

The two will perform with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra at Make it a Double: Marquette Symphony Orchestra Season Opener from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. today at Kaufman Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at any Northern Michigan University ticket outlet or online at tickets.nmu.edu. Tickets are $9 for children 12 and under, $12 for students and children ages 13 to 18, and $17 for adults.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.

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