Acclaimed millennial violinist Eric Stanley visits BRICK Avon Academy’s young musicians
by Brick City Live | April 21, 2017
This week, young violinists at BRICK Avon Academy came face-to-face with what a career as a successful musician might look like.
BRICK Avon Academy hosted acclaimed violinist Eric Stanley on Tuesday, April 18th, for a series of special instrumental music classes with Avon students who play the violin. The classically trained 26-year-old violinist is known for playing classical music, and also for infusing his repertoire with pop and hip-hop. While a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Stanley launched a YouTube channel whose videos have since garnered nearly 20 million views.
Currently, there are three fourth-grade classes at BRICK Avon Academy who participate in the school’s violin program. Due to the lack of instruments, students are unable to practice at home or as a whole group. Instead, Avon’s violin students share equipment each day in three different instructional classes. (To help change that, consider contributing to their Donors Choose campaign.)
Stanley will return to Avon and join the class in a school-wide assembly for their June 13th Spring Concert. Newark Arts Executive Director Jeremy Johnson will also join the event.
Stanley’s visit was sponsored by the Newark Public Schools’ “Renew the Arts” program, whose goals is to ensure Newark students are receive rigorous, sequential arts programming and exposure to high-quality community arts experiences. As a new participant of the program, BRICK Avon Academy has worked with the arts community and the school district to provide meaningful art education across the spectrum of arts disciplines, from vocal and instrumental music, to graphic and fine arts programs, to dance, theater, and creative writing.
“Developing and maintaining a strong art program has been a challenge, but our scholars have been an inspiration to all of us,” said BRICK Avon Academy Founder and Executive Director Dominique Lee, according to a statement about the program. “They all share equipment, support each other, and are dedicated. We are thrilled to have someone of Mr. Stanley’s story and training to meet with our students and thankful for the school district for helping us support these priorities and efforts.”
Johnson called BRICK’s program “an inspiration for us all.”
“The arts play an important part of our city and provide needed educational value to our students. We must not forget this fact. We need to do more to help inspire our children,” Johnson said. “It starts with visits like Mr. Stanley, and hopefully more will understand the true challenges our kids face in fulfilling their passions.”
Stanley’s website features a takeover experience asking visitors to support BRICK Avon Academy’s violin program. The school is seeking $2,424 total to purchase 20 violins for the students (and cover some additional costs of running the online campaign). To contribute, visit the campaign page on donorschoose.org.
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