West Michigan Symphony flutist mentors MCC elementary students

January 24, 2023

West Michigan Symphony flutist mentors MCC elementary students

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central Schools in partnership with Mason County Press.  

SCOTTVILLE — Mason County Central Upper Elementary music teacher, April Keith, is utilizing new technologies to connect her students with local flutist, Jill Brown, principal flute player for the West Michigan Symphony, through a virtual mentorship program.

Keith connected with Brown through a meeting in September 2022 where educators from west Michigan schools decided on mentors for their students. “It is our goal as music educators to provide students with multiple opportunities to experience music in various ways,” said Keith. “By utilizing new technologies, we are able to connect our students with professional musicians like Jill, even though we are a distance away from the traditional mentorship opportunities.”

Fourth and fifth grade students from Mason County Central Upper Elementary School recently had their first Zoom meeting with Brown, who is a native of west Michigan. Brown has been principal flutist in the West Michigan Symphony for over 40 years and holds a bachelor’s of art degree and master’s degree in music performance. In addition to her role in the symphony, she is also a substitute flutist for the Grand Rapids Symphony and a pit musician at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

“I am excited to see how this virtual mentorship program will enhance our students’ musical education and experiences,” said Keith. “It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we use new technologies to bridge the distance and connect our students with professionals in the field.”

The West Michigan Symphony Link Up concert will take place on May 9 at the Frauenthal Center, in Muskegon, and will feature performances by Brown.

For more information on the West Michigan Symphony and upcoming concerts, visit www.westmichigansymphony.org.

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