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Classical 101

Anonymous Donor Gives Inner-City Students Musical Instruments

More than 70 percent of its students qualify to receive free meals. More than 50 languages are spoken among its students. Now, thanks to an anonymous donor, 210 more of its students have musical instruments. According to the London Evening Standard, Monday all 210 students in year seven at London's inner-city Highbury Grove secondary school were given violins, violas, or cellos, the result of a gift of "tens of thousands of pounds" from an anonymous donor who wanted the school's students to learn how to play instruments. There are plans for all students in years seven through nine to have instruments and to learn how to play them. Highbury Grove school follows El Sistema, the system of music education that has given thousands of underprivileged Venezuelan children a chance to learn how to play classical music. The school also now has a special music concentration curriculum, in which Fridays are devoted to solo and ensemble playing and learning fundamental music performance skills. So I ask you, Columbus: What would it take to bring El Sistema - or something like it - to central Ohio? Read more: The Inner-City School Where Classical Music Is the First Language (LES)

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.