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Studies have revealed before a child is capable of speaking, sitting up or walking, he or she responds to the language of music.
“Music is the most enriching development of the mind since the beginning of learning,” said Harold Seckinger, a retired architect and mastermind behind Citrus Youth Education Symphonic (YES) Orchestra Inc. “Classical music builds character and intellect in children who learn how to play orchestral instruments and will contribute immeasurably to the literate development of all youth.”
The Citrus (YES) Orchestra Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is in the process of fundraising and gathering supporters, volunteer teachers and instruments.
Seckinger said many students learning orchestral music travel out of county to Ocala, Gainesville and Tampa. He and his board members, John Siefert, Vicki LaMarche and Rebecca Montgomery, are inviting Citrus County youths — between the ages of 5 to 19 — to join the Citrus YES Orchestra to learn to play instruments in a symphonic orchestra.
“It has been designed to become a nucleus for students,” Seckinger said. “We will teach them the rudiments of music. They will learn all of the fundamentals that are necessary. Then we will let them choose an instrument.”
Instruments are being collected for those who cannot afford them. Citrus High School has donated 40 instruments along with a library of classical and symphonic music. Progress Energy, Black Diamond Foundation and Little Italy Deli and Bakery have donated start-up money.
Seven Rivers Christian School has offered its band room for rehearsals.
“We will start off with two days a week,” Seckinger said. “However, I see us expanding our operation to five days a week in two years. In five years, we will have a running orchestra of more than 200 children.”
When Seckinger was a youth he was offered free music lessons and an instrument by the dean of the University of Florida’s School of Music on the stipulation he would play the double bass in the symphony orchestra.
“Music has changed my life and it gave me social skills that got me into architecture,” Seckinger said. “I know it will change another child’s life, too.”
For more information, go to www.cyeso.org/ or call 352-628-6874.