Practice pays off for young violinist



YOU CAN NEVER be sure what will inspire or encourage a child. Often the encouragement comes from parents or other adults, and sometimes even from another child.

For Eldersburg resident Julia Loy, the spark came from watching another child play music in her church. The performance prompted Julia to ask her parents for a violin when she was 5 years old.

Now, thanks to that flicker of interest, lots of miles on the family car and many hours of practice, Julia recently had the opportunity to take part in an international musical event.

The International Music Festival was held in Montreal a few weeks ago. The three-day event featured musical groups of all ages. A variety of music was performed by many groups, from choirs to orchestras.

Julia, 12, participated as a member of Sinfonia, a string orchestra that is a branch of the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra. Sinfonia's 26 members, who perform on violin, viola, cello and bass, range in age from 10 to 14. The group presents about six free concerts each season in the Baltimore area.

Sinfonia met with success in its first international event. Each performing group was judged not against others, but against a prescribed set of international standards.

"We were judged on such things as tone, accuracy, technique and our stage presence," explained Julia. Performing "M to the Third Power" and "Serenade for Strings, Op. 48," Sinfonia was awarded a bronze medal.

The many hours of practice and preparation for the festival and other concerts have been worthwhile for Julia, who will be entering eighth grade at Sykesville Middle School.

When her violin teacher, Phyllis Freeman, challenged her and others to practice for at least a half hour a day for 100 consecutive days from February to May, Julia met the challenge.

The violin has played a big part in Julia's life. She began at a program at Peabody Preparatory at age 5 and continued to age 9. After a two-year hiatus, Julia again took up her violin and has been playing it ever since.

Julia was named to Carroll's All-County Orchestra for the past two years and was chosen for Sinfonia on her first audition for the group.

"We had to audition for the director," said Julia. "We had to know lots of scales, and you had to have a solo piece prepared. Then you had to sight read a few short pieces."

In addition to her private weekly lessons in Frederick, Julia devotes nearly every Saturday afternoon to traveling to Essex to practice with Sinfonia. Her family of musicians is very understanding. Her father, Curt Loy, plays cornet and piano, and her mother, Nancy, plays piano and flute. Adam, her brother, plays the trumpet.

Julia plans to continue playing her violin and might take up the piano some day.

Summer park concerts

If good music under the stars sounds appealing to you, plan to attend the summer concert series sponsored by Sykesville Parks and Recreation. The four concerts are free and will be presented at Cooper Park, Cooper Drive and Route 32.

Glass Hammer will kick off the series with light rock tunes Friday at 7 p.m. Those attending are encouraged to bring picnic dinners, blankets and lawn chairs.

On July 26, Imaginary Friends will perform popular music, and Stringband America will play bluegrass Aug. 9. The series will conclude on Aug. 23 with gospel music by Crosswalk.

All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and last until about 9 p.m. Rainouts will not be rescheduled. If the weather is questionable, call the Town House at 795-8959 by 5 p.m. to find out whether the concert has been canceled.

Country line dancing

Beat the heat and get in shape with country line dancing at the Sykesville-Freedom District Volunteer Fire Department tomorrow from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Instructions are offered every Wednesday on a new singles line dance and a couples dance. Open dancing begins about 8: 30 p.m.

Admission is $5. Information: 795-7122.

Stories welcome

Attention southeast area residents: Do you have an interesting hobby or collection? Have you been on an educational trip or journey? Have you won an award? Is there something unusual about your home or business? If so, call me. I'd love to hear about it, and maybe others would enjoy reading about your experiences.

Sherry Graham's Southeast Carroll neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 7/09/96

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.