Westside schools:
Band or orchestra choices for Bristol’s initial Suzuki students

       A concert by Bristol Elementary's Suzuki violin students helped conclude the last week of school May 20. It also gave Principal Steve Ferguson something to ponder for the 2008-09 school year. Michael Hanson of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic
Orchestra, Bristol Elementary’s Suzuki violin teacher,
readies some of his youngest students for a song as part of the afternoon Honor Concert May 20 in the school gym. There was another concert in the evening.
Westside Pioneer photo
       That will be when the first students to have taken the Suzuki class for a full four years will be in fourth grade - old enough to choose whether to play in the orchestra (string instruments) or band (wind and brass).
       “It will be interesting to see how many go into strings, or opt out of it and go into band,” Ferguson said.
       He estimated that about 40 of the incoming fourth-graders are those who started with the Suzuki in kindergarten and have continued at Bristol, taking the class a half- hour a day, four days a week. The program is named after a violinist named Shinichi Suzuki, who developed a method of teaching youngsters in groups to play by ear. Bristol's teacher from the beginning (August '05) has been Michael Hanson, concert master for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra.
       Suzuki is a key part of Bristol's efforts to establish itself as an “arts magnet” school.
       Three Coronado High students placed highly in the recent Diverse Minds Writing Challenge by B'nai B'rith International.
       Kelsey Brown took second place, earning a $2,000 scholarship; and Kiley Robinson and Saraiya Ruano tied for third place, sharing a $1,000 scholarship.
       B'nai B'rith is a non-profit organization that focuses on human rights, community action and education.

Westside Pioneer/press releases