Janesville girl debuts with area chamber orchestra

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Anna Marie Lux
Monday, June 9, 2014

JANESVILLE—Close your eyes and listen as notes of Concerto in C Major bubble like a fountain from the piano.

Now open your eyes.

Yes, 10-year-old Faith Green really is the pianist.

People often are surprised to hear someone so young play so fluidly.

Come listen for yourself.

The Janesville girl will perform with the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, June 28. The nonprofit group's first concert of the summer also is its annual fundraiser and silent auction.

Faith is the first student invited to play with the orchestra but not the last. Orchestra members plan to get other young people performing with them in the future.

The 20-member group brings mostly free music to Southern Wisconsin in summer when other orchestras are taking a break.

The orchestra also offers young people a summer string camp, which is growing in popularity and is supported by local businesses. At least 70 student musicians are expected this year during the four-day event in Beloit. Professional musicians will work with students July 21-24.

“One of the reasons we are raising funds is to help pay for scholarships,” said Carol Roy, the orchestra's treasurer.

Roy also plays viola with the orchestra and is Faith's piano teacher.

“Faith is ready for the challenge,” Roy said of the child's upcoming debut. “I have many wonderful things in mind for her. The only thing holding her back is the size of her hands. She just has to grow a bit."

The daughter of Wes and Laurie Green of Janesville will be in fifth grade in the fall at St. William Catholic School. Faith asked to begin piano lessons when she was 5. Both her older brother and sister have taken lessons. Her mom moved the television out of the living room to make room for the piano.

“I like a lot of different kinds of music,” Faith said. “Mostly blues and jazz.”

The chamber orchestra is in its third year and celebrates the joy of classical music. In addition, it added contemporary and pop tunes to its repertoire to appeal to different tastes.

Up to 20 musicians from Southern Wisconsin perform in the group, which is supported almost entirely from donations. Some musicians travel long distances for rehearsals and performances to share their passion of Brahms and Beethoven. Many play for other groups including the Beloit Janesville Symphony, UW-Rock County Chamber Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphonia.

“We love music,” Roy said. “We want to share it with the community.”

The settings in which the orchestra plays usually are casual and family friendly.

“If you are in the music world, you hear about symphonies and arts groups going bankrupt,” Roy said. “This is our way of promoting the arts.”

Anna Marie Lux is a columnist for The Gazette. Her columns run Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call her with ideas or comments at 608-755-8264, or email amarielux@gazettextra.com.


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