Dorothy Gerber Strings Program Celebrating 20th Anniversary This Weekend

The Dorothy Gerber Strings Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary along with those that have impacted the program in a big way this weekend.

The program was started to bring locally-based string music education to children four and older in the greater Petoskey, including Charlevoix, Antrim and Emmet Counties.

Since it began, the program has evolved to giving individual lessons to students, creating a youth orchestra and free string classes.

This weekend, starting at 6 p.m. at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, the entire strings program will be in attendance. This includes 250 students and instructors, who will perform two pieces of music: an opening Star Wars theme and a traditional rendition of Ode to Joy, which was composed by Beethoven.

“It gives them an outlet for expressing themselves through music and through an instrument, and the better they learn how to play that instrument, the more free they are to express themselves, so many benefits, many documented in terms of value to the development of kids,” said David Reimer, director of the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program.

The program will also be hosting a banquet on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. Key influences in the program’s history will be in attendance, including the first teacher to be involved with the program.