Striking a chord: Senior project to benefit music, science collaboration |

Striking a chord: Senior project to benefit music, science collaboration

Sophia McKean
Special to The Union

Caroline Bronson wanted her senior project to be something that would truly benefit her community, and organizing a concert seemed like the perfect choice.

The Nevada Union High School student's concept will become a reality at 7 p.m. Saturday at Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley.

She's had a passion for music all her life; she's been playing piano since she was 4 years old, and she has been able to share her love of the instrument with others through such programs as the Young Composers Project, Peers Performing 4 Peers, and the Young Musicians' Competition. However, Bronson has long been aware that not everyone has access to such things, and she's extremely passionate about keeping these and other such programs alive, saying, "I can't imagine not having had music growing up, and unfortunately the economy has affected music programs greatly."

She's not the only one who's concerned about this; she took inspiration in part from musician Yo Yo Ma, who has recently started a campaign to change STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

All of the performers who will be featured in Bronson's concert are high school students who have been in involved in various Music in the Mountains programs, and the proceeds will, fittingly, go to fund the collaboration between the Young Composers Project and the Sierra Streams Institute.

This year, students in the Young Composers Program have been learning about salmon and the natural world with the Sierra Streams Institute, taking inspiration from what they learn when creating their pieces. They will be helping create music for a documentary that will be shown at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival about the collaboration between the two programs.

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"My passion for music and science have truly collided this year with the collaboration," Bronson said.

Studies have shown correlations between music and mathematical/scientific skill, and Bronson's vision is that more people will come to understand music as an essential, and not an extra, part of education. Her concert will showcase a few of the talented young people who have benefited from having music in their lives and help ensure that even more will be able to do so in the future. It will include music by Beethoven, Chopin, Vivaldi, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Saint-Saens, Weber and Mozart being played by Elissa Karim (cello), Robin Daly (clarinet), Toby Thomas-Rose, Ty Blount, and Caroline Bronson (all piano).

Tickets are $10 at the door and students get in free.

Sophia McKean is a senior at Nevada Union, plays the clarinet and was in the NU symphonic band for three years.

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