We teach children in Gifford, and neighboring communities, mastery of string instruments: violin, viola, and cello.
We prepare them to enter the orchestras at their schools. We train tutors to teach younger students. We build confidence to perform and speak in public either solo or in ensemble. We provide opportunitites to perform in public either pro bono or for donations to the program. We teach money management with any money they receive for their performances. We teach team building, community service, and community pride. We teach friendship. We teach music.
Advanced students gave nine pro bono performances in 2010 and ten performances for a donation to the Gifford Youth Orchestra program. Ninety-six students have come through our program.
One charter violinist is now a student in the UNF orchestra and majoring in business finance. A second charter (viola) member graduates high school in May and is enrolled in the college orchestra with a major in nursing. A third (cellist) is studying music at UCF.
Current enrollment is 30, with four in IRC high school orchestras, and seven in IRC Middle School orchestras.
Other students have found new interests in sports, marching bands, other instruments, even forming their own musical group. Students range from age six to eighteen.
(1) To provide an annual opportunity for these young people to perform outside of Florida, as a type of cultural exchange and cultural enrichment for the musicians, as we did when performing for the jazz community in Las Vegas.
(2) To identify agencies, organizations, or individuals to invite us to perform, assist us in finding volunteers, and help us identify funding that we might be able to offer full scholarships to the families of these children for their commitment to music, community service, and fantastic citizenship.
(1) To continue the program until these services are available to all Gifford children who are ready to begin their music therapy and education during the early education years.
(2) To create a Gifford Performing Arts Center that includes the other programs in our mission statement: \\" ... provide education, experience, and training in various cultural and performing arts, including music, drama, dance, and the vocal arts for the youth of Gifford, Florida (and neighboring Indian River County Communities), with a core focus on mastering stringed instruments.
We have chosen as our mascot tigers, and are known as the Gifford \\"Tigers\\" Youth Orchestra. When Gifford High School was in session, it\\'s students and teachers created a legacy of excellence. The tiger was their mascot. We want to keep that legacy alive in the minds and hearts of the children in this program. We want them to be proud of the good citizens of Gifford and their magnificent contributions to Indian River County through academics, sports, and music.
The Gifford Youth Orchestra began in August 2003. It was funded by the Gifford Front Porch Council and the Gifford Progressive Civic League. Through the Front Porch program, we gave violins to 14 students. Since our inception, we have been under the direction of Mrs. Joan Haar -- retired certified music teacher, who is the music director of the program. She is assisted by Mrs. Jeni Sinco Goldsmith, currently a certified music teacher in IRC. We have also trained and advanced one of our students to assist with teaching responsibilities: Chantel Crosdale, senior at Vero Beach High. Program Administrator and Executive Director, Rev. Crystal Bujol, retired pastor of two California churches is the founder. It is all Annie Powell\\'s idea! She wanted to make sure Gifford\\'s children would not be left behind! Based on testimony from Matt Stott, orchestra director at Vero Beach High School and Gifford Middle School, the Gifford children are not being left behind -- they are often leading the way!
Classes are held at the Gifford Community Center
4855 43rd Avenue
Gifford, Florida 32967(not the GYAC - smile but next door).