Fruit Ridge students attend symphony concert at Zellerbach Hall

e-Connections Post

Fruit Ridge Elementary School students who participate in Overture, a partnership between SCUSD and the Sacramento Youth Symphony, enjoyed a trip to UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall recently to attend a concert performed by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

For many students, the trip marked several firsts: First concert, first visit to a college campus and first glimpse of the San Francisco Bay, visible from their school bus.

Students were accompanied by their Principal Yee Yang and their Overture string teachers: George Hayes, Alex Winter and Dagenais Smiley.

The Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela performed energetic works by Latin composers. This orchestra is comprised of students at the highest level of the El Sistema program (which inspired Overture), founded by Jose Antonio Abreu.

The Overture kids were captivated by the 150-piece orchestra, complete with Latin percussion section and two harps. At the end of the concert, the orchestra members removed their Venezuelan jackets and threw them into the crowd. A few Fruit Ridge students captured jackets and all left with fantastic memories of a wonderful experience.

With Overture, Fruit Ridge students practice violins, violas and cellos two hours a day, four days a week. The Overture program is in its second year.