Arnold MS student earns coveted spot in Houston Youth Symphony

June 21, 2018

Arnold Middle School student Steven Hopkins earned a spot in the Houston Youth Symphony on the double bass for the 2018-2019 season. Following an audition process, Hopkins was selected for the Preparatory Orchestra, which provides an introductory ensemble experience for developing string players.
Arnold Middle School student Steven Hopkins earned a spot in the Houston Youth Symphony on the double bass for the 2018-2019 season. Following an audition process, Hopkins was selected for the Preparatory Orchestra, which provides an introductory ensemble experience for developing string players.

June 21, 2018—Arnold Middle School student Steven Hopkins, who recently completed seventh grade, earned a spot in the Houston Youth Symphony for the 2018-2019 season following an audition process conducted in April and May.

Playing the double bass, Hopkins was placed in the symphony’s Preparatory Orchestra, which provides an introductory ensemble experience for developing string players.

“I felt amazed that I got in and excited,” said the 13-year-old Hopkins. “Getting a spot means that I could meet new friends and do something I love – play in an orchestra.”

The orchestra is under the direction of Dr. Jackson Guillén and one of four in the Houston Youth Symphony’s core program that includes approximately 300 musicians of varying skill levels.

Arnold Middle School student Steven Hopkins shows off his acceptance letter to the Houston Youth Symphony program for the 2018-2019 season. Following an audition process, Hopkins was selected for the Preparatory Orchestra. The ensemble will rehearse at Houston ISD’s Pershing Middle School on Sundays beginning in September and two concerts are scheduled.
Arnold Middle School student Steven Hopkins shows off his acceptance letter to the Houston Youth Symphony program for the 2018-2019 season. Following an audition process, Hopkins was selected for the Preparatory Orchestra. The ensemble will rehearse at Houston ISD’s Pershing Middle School on Sundays beginning in September and two concerts are scheduled.

Those accepted into the program were notified via mail in June.

“Steven always works hard for anything he wants to accomplish, but the amount of competition coupled with the importance of this opportunity made me exceptionally proud of him,” said Christine Hopkins, Steven’s mother and a fourth-grade reading and writing teacher at Millsap Elementary School. “After he opened the acceptance letter, he asked with a big grin on his face, ‘Is this what it's like to get into college?’”  

Steven Hopkins recently completed his second school year as a member of the Arnold Middle School orchestra, having grown tremendously under the direction and encouragement of Janis Garcia, Christine Hopkins said.

Added Garcia: “I am excited for Steven to have this opportunity. Playing with the Houston Youth Symphony Preparatory Orchestra will help him flourish as a young orchestral bass player.”

Houston Youth Symphony ensembles will rehearse at Houston ISD’s Pershing Middle School on Sundays beginning in September. Two concerts at Pershing are scheduled for the Preparatory Orchestra (Dec. 16, 2018 and April 28, 2019).

“I've enjoyed all the evenings listening to him plucking, or as he corrects me – pizzacato-ing,” Christine Hopkins said of Steven. “He's gone from a boy with a big instrument to a mature teenager learning the craft of classical music. This opportunity will come with a great commitment to practicing every Sunday this next school year. I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.”

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