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Flicka's Kids Twinkle Like Little Stars

May 6, 2014

Stephanie Railsback instructs kindergartners at St. Martin de Porres School Photo by Chris Duffey"The kids will play a few versions of 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," writes Frederica von Stade, "and then one of our teachers has a version of the New World Symphony (10 or so measures of it) for cello and violin, so they will be doing that and a couple of other, very simple songs."

Doesn't sound like much? It actually is — a great deal. The free event is the Saint Martin de Porres School Violin Concert, by very young students, beginning at 2 p.m. on May 10, in the Sacred Heart Church, 40th Street and Martin Luther King, in Oakland.

Flicka, who has been supporting the music program for underprivileged children for years, says:

The entire kindergarten starts with violin every year and then the kids drop in and out over the following years, but this is our core group and we just added two cellos. The two teachers responsible for this are Stephanie Railsbach and David Andai. Stephanie plays with OEBS and David just graduated from the Conservatory.

We just keep plugging away and the kids love performing and get a lot out of it. David's dream is to have a mini-orchestra in the next couple of years. My dream is to expand the program to all the urban Catholic schools and to add art as well.

The concert features the first-grade ensemble in "Pop Goes the Weasel," "Rock and Roll Song," and the promised "Twinkle Variations." The second graders present "Kum Ba Yah" and "La Bamba." There will be soloists with the Middle School Orchestra, such as Ukachi Nkechi in "Long, Long Ago" and Jonathan Balthazar in the Bach Minuet #3... and much more.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].