Young musicians play off-Island jamboree


On Monday, 33 members of Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools Elementary String Program took their instruments, music, and music stands on the road, off-Island, to participate in the All-Cape & Island String Jamboree at the Barnstable Intermediate School. String Program instructor Nancy Jephcote was at the helm of the expedition made up of players in grades four to eight.

The Island student musicians had prepared for the intensive orchestral event over the previous two months by mastering four pieces of music.

At the Jamboree, Island musicians joined those from other schools in three separate orchestras — Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each orchestra played three pieces. Selections included Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, and a gospel arrangement.

Finally, all the musicians — some 450 of them — combined on a big, boisterous rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Four conductors, including Ms. Jephcote, worked as one to keep the beat with the huge orchestra that covered the gym floor.

“That was way more fun than basketball,” one sixth-grade boy said.