Musical Horizons Expand at UCA Students Share Talents With Others

April 01, 2007 | Carmen Slavens

Curtis Anderson, music department chairman, and Dean Kravig, band instructor, together with the administration, have added a strings program through the Spokane Youth Orchestra to Upper Columbia Academy’s (UCA) music options. Private string lessons have been offered at UCA for many years, but this is the first year credit has been given for participating in the orchestra.

Every Monday night a group of five UCA students go into Spokane and participate as members of the orchestra, playing violins, the trombone and cello. “We are thrilled to offer this option for serious young musicians,” says Anderson.

"Students are still members of UCA’s band and choraliers; they just add this orchestra experience to their growth." The director of the orchestra, Verne Windham, is very knowledgeable concerning the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, which means all Sabbath performances and practices are optional. “This is such a great way to broaden the musical experience of our students, and one that will last a lifetime,” says Kravig.

For example, the orchestra recently took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the US Figure Skating Championships held in Spokane in January.

The program has also helped bring students to UCA. One string player, Chris Patchett, lives with his family in Wisconsin but last year chose to attend UCA over closer academies because of the great opportunities in academics and music. Each week he takes a violin lesson in Spokane to continue his studies. He and his sister were recently featured on 3ABN’s Christmas holiday special held in Lauderhill, Fla. His reward for the many hours of practice comes from knowing that he’s reaching people around the world for Jesus.