Youth Programs

The Grande Ronde Symphony supports several youth programs.  These programs introduce music and instruments to students from second grade into college.  We support efforts across Eastern Oregon to support live music, music instruction, and opportunities for these students to perform.
Without an investment in youth music programs, the Grande Ronde Symphony and other music organizations would not be what they are today.

String Instrument Introduction

Each year, musicians from the Grande Ronde Symphony volunteer to introduce stringed instruments to second grade students in the La Grande School District.

Conducted in May of each year, a strings’ “petting zoo” offers second grade students an opportunity to hold and explore violins, violas, cellos and basses.  Volunteers introduce the instruments and show students how to hold the instrument and encourage them to use the bows of the instruments with the instruments to create sound.

Fiddle Club

Fiddle Club is available for 3rd through 6th grade students as an after-school program offered in conjunction with the La Grande School District.  These clubs occur at: Central Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, and Island City Elementary for beginning students who want to learn a stringed instrument.  Students can learn to play an instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass and sometimes other instruments) in this after-school program offered and funded by the La Grande School District.

Carla Arnold (fiddle, guitar, mandolin) is an Elementary Music Teacher for the La Grande School District (28 years). As an Orff levels certified general music teacher at Central Elementary School, she directs the after-school fiddle clubs for the La Grande School District.

Grande Ronde Symphony musicians Denise Hattan and Kathy Thimmes professionally assist Carla Arnold in the introduction and training of these students.  Several community musicians and parents volunteer in supporting the current 88 students who regularly participate.

The GRSA was the initial organization to develop the Fiddle Clubs currently in existence.  Collaboration with the GRSA and partnering with the School District which included purchasing instruments and paying for instrument instruction.

Kathy Thimmes

Denise Hattan

If you have any questions or want to sign up