Youth orchestra lets children make music together

Ze'ev Goldstein, 11, performs at the Jewish Orchestra of Youth kickoff event.
Ze’ev Goldstein, 11, performs at the Jewish Orchestra of Youth kickoff event. (Photo courtesy of JOY)

Children in Silver Spring are finding
the joy of making music in an all-new
youth orchestra program, according
to parents.

The Jewish Orchestra of Youth (or Joy)
at the Silver Spring Learning Center held
its inaugural event on Sept. 11, allowing
about 60 musicians, from newcomers to
experienced players ages 6-16, to find
community in making music together.
One of the orchestra’s founders, Gershik
Chervinsky, said the orchestra was
established on the principle that Jewish
children should be afforded music as an
indispensable aspect of their life.
“We believe in the transformative power
of music,” said Chervinsky, a Russian-born musician. “We believe that playing in orchestra brings people together and transcends daily life…a premier level youth
ensemble that respects Jewish calendar.”

The group plans to meet on Sundays
and focus on group lessons with the
goal of creating a quality and recognized
program with a high student to teacher
ratio of one teacher per five students.
Israeli-born violinist Daniel Zinn is one of
the conductors.

Parent organizer Suri Kinzbrunner said
there used to be a Jewish youth orchestra
in the area years ago, but it disbanded after
only a year. “It was such a great experience,”
she said. “Youth orchestras make learning
an instrument so much more accessible for
so many children who may not have the
opportunity otherwise. We hope that Joy
will last well beyond this inaugural year to be a high
quality youth orchestra for our children.”

Another parent organizer, Erica Pelman, said her son
began practicing violin in 2021 and “clearly has some
talent.” His teacher encouraged him to join an orchestra,
but Pelman found that the only available independent
youth orchestras meet in churches and conflict with
Jewish holidays. “I wondered if there was a market for a
Jewish youth orchestra and discovered that absolutely
there is,” she said.

Pelman said Joy organizers aim to build an institution
that provides their children with an opportunity to
build musical talent, perform classical and Jewish music
for the community and have connection across the
Jewish community.

Ze’ev Goldstein, 11, has been playing violin for
five years. At the orchestra’s kickoff event, he played
Concerto No. 2 in G Major 3rd Movement by Friedrich
Seitz. “It was very inspiring to hear all of the instruments
and I felt like my soul can really connect to the music,”
Ze’ev said.

While the orchestra is currently limited to string
and woodwind instruments, organizers are hoping to
expand. “We are looking for volunteers and donors
who want to make sure financial constraints don’t limit
ability of kids to pursue musical education,” Pelman
said. The orchestra is selling quality used instruments
to raise money.

The Jewish Orchestra of Youth expects to debut
in their first concert at the Chabad of Silver Spring
Chanukah party in December.


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