AMP Academy student, Sydney, performs on violin. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

Congratulations to the students for the AMP Academy! On February 22, 2013 they took their first steps on to stage as soloists. The 28 students, ranging in age between 7 and 12 years old, have been taking private lessons for almost three months now.  They performed brilliantly and seemed to enjoy every moment in the spotlight.

Assata performs some Schumann at the first AMP Academy Recital. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

Funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the AMP Academy’s goal is to give AMP’s most talented students all the tools they need to pursue music as far as their talent and hard work will take them.

Alivia performs on double bass at the first AMP Academy Recital. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

These students (and their parents!) work hard. Very hard. Most attend regular AMP classes ten hours per week. Then in addition, they must practice individually everyday. Each AMP Academy student receives a weekly private lesson from an AMP Teaching Artist, as well as a high quality instrument. Still to come this school year for AMP Academy students: masterclasses, another recital, a side-by-side concert with AMP Teaching Artists and end of year juries. In short, we have high hopes for our AMP Academy students.

Danielle walks off stage after her performance on cello at the first AMP Academy recital. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

But this is just year one and our AMP Academy students are beginners. For their first recital, most of our string players performed pieces from Suzuki Book 1 or 2. Our wind students performed pieces from a variety of books, from Essential Elements to concert solos.

olomon takes a bow after performing on trumpet at the first AMP Academy Recital. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

These students’ skills have improved quickly since joining the AMP Academy and this has really boosted the quality of our orchestral programs. AMP Academy students can now often be spotted teaching less advanced AMP students.

Parents are overjoyed that their children are receiving individualized attention from the AMP Teaching Artists, all of whom have attended elite music conservatories. Many parents attend the weekly private lessons and find themselves learning along with their child.

Taino performs on violin at the first AMP Academy Recital. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

We are looking forward to the next set AMP Academy events, which will be the masterclasses. Dates, locations and guest artists will be announced soon! AMP wishes to thank Anita Norman and Marilyn Carlson, our accompanists, the Salvation Army Kroc Center for allowing us to use their beautiful chapel for the recital, and of course, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for their financial support of the AMP Academy. Again, bravi students!