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Performance to showcase young Lowell string players

By Used with permission from the Lowell Sun Online. By SUSAN McMAHON Sun Staff

LOWELL The University of Massachusetts Lowell String Project, a partnership between the university and public schools designed to pique children's interest in string instruments, will perform its winter concert Sunday.

The event will be held at Durgin Hall at 3 p.m., on the university's south campus. Admission is free.

As part of the project, founded in 2001, 95 students from Lowell elementary schools take lessons on string instruments from a master teacher, Susan Turcotte Gavriel, and student teachers in the university's music department. Both the lessons and the instruments are provided free of charge.

Part of the goal is to increase diversity among students studying classical music, and applying children's enthusiasm to a musical instrument.

"Their energy and enthusiasm is compelling proof that classical music is for everyone," said Kay George Roberts, a professor at UMass Lowell and director of the String Project.

At Sunday's concert, the students will be accompanied by guest artist Diane Monroe, who has soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and appeared in the film Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep. Monroe will play classical, jazz and electric violin with the young musicians.