Made possible by a collaboration with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Preludes provides violin instruction and the use of a real violin at no cost to students in kindergarten and first grade during the school day at Paul Banks Elementary. An optional after school program is offered to second graders.
Initiated in the Fall of 2016, Preludes is inspired by El Sistema and Juneau, Alaska Music Matters (JAMM). El Sistema is a musical program that began in the poor barrios of Venezuela before spreading worldwide. JAMM offers tuition-free school-based programs that use the power of music and the social experience of ensemble to help youth reach their fullest potential.
Inspired by the success of the Preludes program, Frescoes began in the fall of 2018 with kindergarten through second grade students at Fireweed Academy, Homer’s public charter elementary school—at no cost to students. Frescoes provides one hour per week of music instruction and the experience of ensemble during the school day. Our goal is to help these young people become better learners and better citizens. Frescoes have performed at the Islands and Ocean Visitors Center, at Fireweed’s May Day celebration, and for other school events. The Frescoes Steering Committee is a group of parents and teachers committed to making the program successful.
HYSOC (Homer Youth String Orchestra Club) was formed by community volunteers 15 years ago to offer orchestral music instruction to Homer youth. Today, HYSOC programs offer low cost music and ensemble instruction to kids in grades third through 12th, with multiple ensembles based on age and experience. These programs add the skills in musicianship to OPUS’s core social and learning goals. Scholarships are available—no child is turned away due to inability to pay.
HYSOC programs are offered during the afterschool hours, and these students perform regularly for the community. HYSOC also includes the “Codas” ensemble for adults, many of whom are parents of OPUS students.