Welcome Back from Spring Break!

Hello WCS Students & Families! 

Ms. Kirby and I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Spring Break, and are as ready to jump into this next portion of the school year as we are!  Here’s a quick look at what’s coming up:

  • Monday, March 27 – Private lessons resume
  • Tuesday, March 28 – Group classes resume
  • Saturday, April 1 – Summer ’23 Registration opens
  • Sunday, April 23 – Piano rehearsals for solo recitals
  • Sunday, April 30 – Solo recitals
  • Sunday, May 21 – Spring Festival group performance
  • Saturday, May 27 – Last day of Spring ’23 Semester
  • Monday, May 29 – Summer ’23 Semester begins! 

Sign-ups for piano rehearsals, and details for the Solo Recitals on April 30 and the Spring Festival on May 21 will be coming in their own emails in the near future.¬† And keep an eye out for Summer ’23 Registration on April 1!

With that, we look forward to seeing you all again this week, and to preparing with you for all that the rest of this semester brings! ūüéĽ

Spring Break ’23 Update

Hello WCS Students & Families! 

This school year has been flying by, and it seems like in the blink of an eye each and every one of our students has transformed into a more mature, more capable, more talented player than they were during the fall semester.¬† As always, it’s a pleasure to participate in that process of growth and learning with you all, and we look forward to this last quarter of the school year with you.¬† Here’s a look at what’s coming up…¬†

Spring Break

West County Strings will be off for Spring Break from March 19-26.  We hope you enjoy a week of rest and relaxation with no private lessons or group classes, and that you all come back rested, refreshed, and ready for the final stretch of the school year.  As always, break is a great time for some extra listening to your Suzuki CDs / other supplemental recordings, and for some extra practice during all those hours off of school! 

Summer ’23 Registration

We¬†always¬†look forward to the summer with our students. ¬†That time to continue building with consistency on all we’ve done during the past school year – or to get ready for a brand new school year – is so valuable. ¬†

Registration¬†for the Summer ’23 Semester will go out on¬†April 1¬†and be due May 1. ¬†
Remember, summer is a great time for flexibility. ¬†If you know you’re going to be out of town a few weeks, we can accommodate that. ¬†If you know you’re going to be¬†in¬†town and would like to take more than one lesson a week, we can do that, too. ¬†More details will come when the forms are sent out on April 1.¬†

Solo Recitals

Solo recitals are always a highlight of every semester.¬† This spring’s solo¬†recitals¬†will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, April 30.¬†¬†Recital time assignments, location, and other details will be forthcoming after Spring Break. ¬†

Piano rehearsals with Mrs. Parkin will be held at the studio on the afternoon of Sunday, April 23.  Students playing Book 4+ repertoire should plan to have a rehearsal.  Students playing in Books 2-3 should consider it optional, though possibly beneficial.  When in doubt, whether as to how much rehearsal time you need or whether you need a rehearsal at all, just ask your teacher!  Rehearsal sign-up sheets will be posted after Spring Break.  

Spring Festival

One of our other most-anticipated events of the school year is our Spring Festival¬†Group Performance.¬† It’s always special to have everyone together on one stage, highlighting the Suzuki repertoire and other ensemble pieces we’ve studied in group class during the school year.¬† This year’s¬†Spring Festival¬†will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21.¬†¬†Please invite your friends, family, neighbors, etc. to join us!¬†

Repertoire lists and schedules for the dress rehearsal held immediately prior to the performance will be released as the Spring Festival draws nearer, and we’ve had a chance to really dive deep in group classes. ¬†As an aside, it’s been so wonderful to have so many of you returning to regularly participate in group classes this spring. ¬†Group classes really are a “glue” that holds the whole learning process together and makes it deeper, stronger, more impactful, and more lasting. ¬†So, thank you so much for joining us!¬†

With that, we’ll see you for lessons through March 19th, and then we hope you all enjoy a wonderful break!¬†

Happy New Year!

Hello WCS Students & Families! 

We hope you’re enjoying a wonderful holiday break – we’re looking forward to seeing you again when lessons resume on Thursday, January 5. 

As always, the start of a new year gives us a chance to both look back at some of the highlights of the past year and to look forward to the opportunities the future holds: 

2022 saw so much maturity and growth.  Every student, without exception, progressed to heights they couldn’t even really conceive of at the start of their studies in the year, and we were able to enjoy the results of this process in solo and group recitals throughout the year.  Manyl WCS students won scholarships through the Missouri Federations of Music Clubs, and earned seats in the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis All-Suburban Orchestra, and Missouri All-State Orchestra.  We look forward to repeating those successes and guiding others to them in 2023!

For a brief overview of the first half of the Spring ’23 Semester: 

– Thursday, January 5: private lessons resume

– Tuesday, February 28: group classes resume

– Sunday, March 19-26: Spring Break

In the second half of the semester, we’ll have our recitals and performances, with further information released as events draw nearer.

Enjoy the rest of your break, and we look forward to seeing you soon! 

Halloween Party ’22 Recap!

Hello WCS Students & Families!

Thank you so, so much to everyone who joined us for our Halloween ’22 Party last evening. We enjoyed your creative costumes, the treats you brought to share, playing music with you, and perhaps above all else the opportunity to connect with you and see you all connecting with each other.

When Ms. Kirby and I reflect back on our childhoods as young musicians, certainly a big part of it was about lessons, learning new techniques and how to break down and overcome tough challenges, group classes and polishing repertoire as part of an ensemble, and of course practice, practice, practice at home!

But an equally important part, if not more important, were the experiences we had and relationships we developed along the way. They keep us motivated when the learning gets tough, and make the whole learning journey all the more worth it when we look back on it.

So, thank you for making an evening like last night possible for your children. Thank you for allowing us to have a little extra fun in the midst of all the learning. And don’t look now, but Fall ’22 Solo Recitals are now less than six weeks away, so it’s time to – you guessed – practice, practice practice!

’22-’23 Registration Now Open!

Hello WCS Students & Families!

Ms. Kirby and I have been thoroughly enjoying seeing so many of you for lessons throughout the summer to this point.  It’s been wonderful to continue the journeys of so many of our long-time students into new techniques and new repertoire, as well as to begin those journeys with so many students and families who are new to West County Strings this summer! 

As we enter July, not only do we look forward to continuing¬†to see so many of you throughout the rest of summer, but it’s also time for us to start preparing for our¬†’22-’23 school year, which will run from¬†Monday, August¬†22, 2022 – Saturday, May 27, 2023. ¬†

Registration¬†for the ’22-’23 school year at West County Strings will be¬†open from July 1 – July 31, 2022. ¬† Here’s a copy of our ’22-’23 registration form, which you can return electronically, bring with you to lessons, or send in the mail.¬†

As always, let us know if you have any questions at all about the registration process or anything else, and we look forward to seeing you the rest of this summer, this upcoming school year, and beyond!

Spring ’22 Potluck

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to celebrate the end of our group classes for the Spring ’22 Semester at our potluck on Tuesday, May 17. And thank you, thank you for all the wonderful, delicious food you all brought! We’re so grateful to have a community of families that values music so much, who works hard throughout the year, and who enjoys each others company when it’s time to relax. Above and beyond the joys of getting to teach music, the community that makes up West County Strings has always been, and continues to be, so special, and we’re thankful for you!

Spring Festival ’22 Recap

Hello Everyone!

Many thanks to all the students who participated in this year’s Spring Festival group performance this past Sunday, May 15. You all played so beautifully, and displayed such growth and maturity in both ability and confidence. which was a testament to the value of group class alongside private lessons in developing well-rounded musicianship. A heartfelt hank you to all the families who made the trips to group class on Tuesday evenings throughout the school year, making this learning experience for students – and this wonderful concert – possible! To those who weren’t able to join us for group classes this school year, we certainly hope you’ll join us in ’22-’23!

Spring ’22 Solo Recitals Recap!

Hello Everyone!

Many thanks to all the students and families who came together to make this year’s Spring Solo Recitals such a wonderful success. Each recital was a lovely blend of ages, levels, and repertoire, and each and every student really brought their best version of their ability to their performance.

We look forward to seeing those of you who’ve been regularly participating in group classes for another afternoon of beautiful music at our Spring Festival Group Performance on Sunday, May 15!

Spring ’22 Solo Recitals Info

Hello Everyone! 

Ms. Kirby and I are looking forward to a wonderful afternoon of music with you all on Sunday, May 1.  Here’s everything you need to know for our Spring ’22 Solo Recitals:

  • Recitals will be held at St. Louis Chinese Gospel Church, 515 Meramec Station Rd.  
  • Please check your email for your recital time assignments.  Students and their families should plan to arrive 15 minutes before their recital’s start time to unpack, tune, and settle in.  Please note that these lists do not reflect program order, and families should plan to be in attendance for their child’s full recital. 
  • Dress code for students is “dress casual.”  Slacks, khakis, dress shirts, polos, dress shoes, and loafers are acceptable for boys.  Dresses, dress pants or skirts, blouses, and dress shoes or loafers are acceptable for girls.  No jeans, t-shirts, or tennis shoes, please! 
  • Please refer to the Parent Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet¬†in your email for your particular recital to sign up to help set up or clean up, or bring snacks or drinks for your recital’s¬†reception. ¬†We’re looking forward to returning to our regular post-recital reception format and as always appreciate your help in making it happen!¬†
  • Masks are recommended for all in attendance.  Students may take off their masks while performing

We’re looking forward to this afternoon with you all.  Students, keep up the good work of practicing and preparing!  And we’ll see you all in lessons this week ūüéĽ

Congratulations MFMC Competition Winners!

Hello WCS Students & Families!

Ms. Kirby and I want to take a moment to congratulate the West County Strings students who earned scholarships through this year’s Missouri Federation of Music Clubs Scholarship Competition, which took place recently on March 26. This year’s winners were:

Tarini Karnati, viola

Tarini earned her place as one of this year’s MFMC Scholarship Competition winners playing the 1st mov. of the J.C. Bach-Casadeus Concerto in C Minor. A sophomore at Parkway Central, Tarini also enjoys playing tennis and studying Carnatic vocal music.

Aaron Wolz, viola

No stranger to success in the MFMC Scholarship Competition, Aaron previously earned a scholarship in 2020. He competed this year playing the 1st mov. of the Concerto in D Major by C. Stamitz. A junior in high school, Aaron attends Flo Valley Community College through Pattonville’s Early College Program, where he participates in the college’s orchestra. He is also a member of the St. Charles County Youth Orchestras Symphony Orchestra, which he credits with much of his growth as an orchestral musician, and a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he also serves as the orchestra’s first student librarian.

Nathan Zhou, violin

Nathan is also a two-time scholarship winner, having previously competed playing the Accolay Concerto No. 1 in A Minor in 2020. He was also runner-up in the MFMC District Competition in 2021, playing the 1st mov. of the Mozart Concerto No. 3 in G Major. This year, he performed the 1st mov. of the Bruch Concerto in G Minor in order to secure his second scholarship win. Outside of violin, Nathan also enjoys studying the piano and French horn, as well as playing goalie for his school’s water polo team.

We’re so proud of the effort that these three students put into preparing for this event, and even more so want to recognize the consistent dedication that they have displayed over the years, which has allowed them to reach this level of mastery in their playing. And we’re thrilled that their efforts have earned them these scholarships to put towards their ongoing music education.

The Missouri Federation of Music Clubs has competitions available for students grades 7 and up, so who knows: next year, or a few years down the road this could be you! Students grade 7-12 are eligible to participate annually, with winners being required to take one year off between appearances.