The School of Music at the University of Southern Mississippi has been selected as an official site for the National String Project Consortium (NSPC).
This coalition of string project sites based at colleges and universities across the United States is dedicated to increasing the number of children playing stringed instruments and addressing the critical shortage of string teachers across the country, according to a news release issued by the college.
With this designation Hattiesburg becomes one of the most comprehensive string education communities in the entire country, according to the release.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Jay Dean, our Symphony Orchestra has become an inspiration to many young musicians, and we are now able to provide training for those inspired musicians at every level,” Miles said. “At the same time, this project provides additional training opportunities for our string education students at the University, as they will be assisting in instruction of the students under the mentorship of a master string educator.”
The Southern Miss NSPC string program is available to students in grades 4-12. Due to the support of the NSPC and NAMM, tuition for the program is kept a reasonable rate so that every interested student may participate in the program.
Students in grades 4-7 will enter the program in the Southern Miss Kids Orchestra, a heterogeneous orchestra setting under the direction of master teacher Gladys Gonzalez.
Students in grades 8-12 will participate in the Southern Mississippi Youth Orchestra, an organization celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Jorge Gonzalez serves as the master teacher for the youth orchestra.
The teachers will be assisted by the students from the Sumphony Orchestra.
According to the release, the NSPC has a dual purpose of training tomorrow's string educators while providing accessible string instruction opportunities for youth and adults. Since 1999, it has leveraged more than $3.1 million to strengthen string-music education across the nation, while affiliating with institutions of higher education, communities, businesses, foundations, professional music organizations and individuals who support these goals.