A global pandemic could not stop Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County’s partnership with The Symphonia. The youth outreach program, Building a String Orchestra and Self-Esteem, presented a live, in-person recital on May 25 featuring six Club members, ages 6-14, from Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach. Each member took violin lessons virtually during the pandemic thanks to the dedication of Boys & Girls Club staff and Symphonia violinist Sha Zhang. This was the first time that the children were able to perform in-person with Zhang since the start of the pandemic. Their emotional recital took place at the Club with parents, Club members and staff enjoying the concert.
The Symphonia’s Building a String Orchestra and Self-Esteem launched in 2017 and was held in-person at the Boys & Girls Club facility in Delray Beach. Grants allowed The Symphonia to continue the lessons virtually during the height of the pandemic. This was challenging with such obstacles as Zhang trying to teach the children remotely how to tune their instruments and play them. Extra Boys & Girls Club staff was used to help in person with the lessons while Zhang remained at a virtual capacity due to Club COVID-19 volunteer guidelines. Grantors of the initial launch and subsequent programs include Impact 100 Palm Beach County, the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Family Fund through the Community Foundation of Palm Beach County and the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.
“The kids played beautifully and had obviously learned a great deal, even though their lessons had been virtual for the past year,” Annabel Russell, Executive Director of The Symphonia said. “They were delighted to be in person again to perform together for the first time since the pandemic.”
The arts remained a priority for the Clubs during the pandemic. The partnership with The Symphonia is one of several art programs that continued in a virtual capacity and are just now returning to their traditional in-person classes.
“It would have been easy to cancel all of our programs that involved volunteers and community partners at the offset of the pandemic, but at the Clubs we understand the importance of providing an artistic outlet for our Club members. At a time that our children were socially isolated due to COVID safeguards, we worked hard with organizations like The Symphonia to keep the arts alive inside our Clubs to provide enrichment when it was needed most,” said Eric Roby, director of marketing and public relations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.
To learn more about The Symphonia and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County’s partnership, click on the button below.