Reno Native Visits School Music Programs

By: Samantha Boatman Email
By: Samantha Boatman Email

RENO, NV - After-school music programs at elementary schools have a special guest for the next few weeks.

Music students at one Reno elementary school played a different tune Wednesday. With fingers warmed up, and violins tuned, they were ready to practice. This wasn't a practice kids were used to.

Sean Shepherd, a Reno native paid a visit to Wednesday's class at Bernice Matthews Elementary School. Shepherd is also a Reno Philharmonic Composer in residence, who now calls New York home.

"It's really gratifying and really exciting to come back. If there are students and there are kids who are interested in what i have to say it's great to make that connection," says Shepherd.

The advanced students and Shepherd are practicing a piece that will be played at the Philharmonic Family Show in October.

"Both interactions, are just equally, they're gratifying," says Shepherd.

Shepherd not only has an impact on local elementary school students. He's also had an impact on an 8th grader. Shepherd has helped him write a musical composition.

8th grader Paul Novak has been playing music for the past three years. In July, Paul decided he wanted to write a symphony. The Reno Philharmonic will play his piece in October.

"It's called "There Exists A Light In Spring," says Novak.

Paul says he wouldn't be where he is today without his instructors, and Shepherd who is an instrument in jump starting Paul's musical career.

"I want to see what opportunities come in composition and in playing, and just take them i guess," says Novak.

As for nicknames like the Young Beethoven or Mozart, "just Paul," says Novak.

The Reno Philharmonic Show will be held on October 1st. Tickets are 10 dollars, and 5 dollars for kids. Both Novak's composition will be played, along with Shepherd's composition practiced with the students at Bernice Matthews Elementary.

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