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Melody will fill the halls at annual MJC Orchestra Day
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High school musicians from around Stanislaus County are tuning up their violins and violas in preparation for the ninth annual Orchestra Day at Modesto Junior College.
The music festival, which brings together students from six area high schools including Pitman and Turlock, is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday in the main auditorium of the Performing and Media Arts Center on the east campus. The event is free and open to the public.
“It’s a fantastic gathering that allows all the high schools to come together and play for one another,” said Anne Martin, director of strings and orchestra at MJC  and the organizer of the event. “It’s also a great opportunity for them to learn from each other and develop their music.”
The high schools participating in the event are: Turlock, led by Donna Harrison; Pitman, led by Don Grishaw; Downey, directed by Joanne Neuffer; Davis, directed by Dan Bryan; Enochs, led by Dave Boyatt; and Modesto, led by Jennifer Jim. Four schools are bringing only the string sections of their orchestras and two are bringing their full orchestras, Martin said.
Martin will also be leading a clinic with the musicians.
Each participating high school will perform through out the day and then come together for a grand finale with a rousing rendition of the Irish tune “Swallowtail Jig.”
“It’s pretty amazing to hear 240 strings playing together,” Martin said.
In addition to the performances by the students, the music directors from the high school will be putting down their batons and picking up an instrument for a performance of “The Mill.”
The MJC Fiddle Duo of Hali Pekron and Veronica Rogers will present a medley of fiddle tunes for the show.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.