WCO’s Super Strings Lessons Perservere

Developed by Maestro Sewell in 2016, Super Strings connects elementary-aged children at Madison’s Lussier Community Education Center (LCEC) with a WCO musician who provides the students with a hands on educational and mentoring experience.

While so much in the performing arts has been put on hold, this collaboration has continued throughout the pandemic, with WCO violinist Hillary Hempel holding lessons using Zoom.

Serving around one dozen students this year, the impact of the program has made it clear to the WCO and LCEC teams that the kids’ lessons – and positive mentoring relationships with Hillary – need continue despite the challenges.

Former LCEC Elementary Program Manager Brian Squire described the value of Super Strings this way:

“It’s been a great program for kids to get in and get some exposure to getting to have an instrument in their hands and play the violin. . . . Getting the chance to see [the kids] grow and develop – it’s really exciting.

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Hillary, who has been teaching as part of Super Strings for around one year, has also seen the impact weekly violin lessons are having on the kids and how it’s not just about learning music:

“I have seen many joyous breakthroughs that students have had during lessons from week to week. They are not only learning how to play the violin, but learning to have patience with themselves, building the perseverance to learn a difficult passage or a technique, learning to comprehend and understand how everything works and why it works better when you do things a certain way. It is building confidence in each child, and a resilience to not give up.”
– Hillary Hempel, WCO Violinist & Super Strings Educator

To continue building on these successes, in 2021 the WCO will work to expand Super Strings to collaborations with more community partners.

This program would not be possible without the support of the WCO’s dedicated donors. In particular, we are very grateful to the David and Sally Allen Family Foundation and TASC for their direct support of Super Strings and the kids it serves.

Hello from WCO’s New Board President, Jon Anderson

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I am the new board chair of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. I am a recovering musician (percussionist) and a lifelong supporter of live music, especially chamber music. I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead the board as we work to expand our musical offerings and outreach in the communities we serve.

The WCO has a rich history and a bright future. The board is working with our CEO, our Music Director, and our talented musicians and staff in planning a fantastic year of live and streamed performances for our patrons. This is Maestro Sewell’s 20th Season as our Music Director! The board is looking for new and innovative ways to move the WCO forward in performing and in outreach activities. Be sure to tune in to our November 20th Webinar for more information on our plans.

COVID-19 has impacted our ability to have live performances. We were able to have two great performances last summer at Breese Stevens Field streamed to the Madison Mallards Duck Pond and to supporters around the nation and in over 20 countries. Your support makes these connections through music possible!

We cannot do what we do without the tremendous support of our fans. Your words of encouragement and your financial contributions have kept us going in these difficult times. Your support means so much to all of us as we work to help everyone get closer to the music. If you are able, please consider making a donation here at the end of the year.

Together, we will continue to enrich our community through the power of music!

Jon Anderson, WCO Board Chair

What’s next for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra?

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IMAGE: The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra's Winter Celebration Concert at the Hamel Music Center on Dec. 27, 2019

Join Maestro Sewell and CEO Joe Loehnis for an inside look at when the Orchestra will be performing next, how we are overcoming the challenges of COVID-19, and how you can be a part of it.

WHAT: 2020/2021 WCO season preview

WHERE: Online via WCO Live

WHEN: November 20, 2020

HOW: RSVP today

Press Contacts

Audra Lange, Director of Marketing
608.257.0638 ext. 106
[email protected]