A complete symphony
Patrick Dykes learned to play the bass in his orchestra class last year at Eagle Valley Middle School.
“I loved it,” he said. “It was awesome.”
But he knew moving into Carson High School’s fledgling program this year would mean less access to the instrument.
“I knew there weren’t enough basses,” he said. “I was OK with sharing with my friends.”
But it was not OK with Carson City Symphony Education Director Sue Jesch. On Wednesday, she and her husband presented the class with two new basses, bringing the total to three – enough for each of the players.
Jesch and her husband, Gary, donated one of the instruments, the Carson City Symphony donated the other.
“We have kids who are interested, but no instruments for them to play,” she said. “We want kids who want to play a string instrument to have one available.”
Calling the bass the “glue that holds the orchestra together,” Gary said they are often the most difficult for students to secure.
The largest of the string instruments, a bass costs about $1,800 with bows and cases. They stand more than six feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds.
“It’s not the kind of thing they can carry to and from the school bus,” said band director Jared Sorum.
Sorum said he was surprised when he took over the band program six years ago that it did not include an orchestra. He said he is happy it is now offered, growing from 10 students last year to 26 this year.
“Now, it’s finally been adopted by the school district,” Sorum said. “It’s amazing. It’s spectacular.”
To fill the gap, Sue Jesch introduced “Strings in the Schools,” sponsored by the Carson City Symphony, seven years ago to bring string instruments to area students.
More than 110 Carson students are now playing string instruments in their classrooms.
The high school orchestra will allow those students the opportunity to progress.
The basses – which were delivered to the Nevada Appeal loading docks to void costly additional shipping fees – will remain at the high school for use in years to come.
Anguel Cortez, a sophomore bass player, said having his own instrument will help him advance in his craft.
“Everybody will have a chance to play and also improve,” he said. “It will increase the speed of my fingers. Also, I can get a better sound out of it.”
Dykes said he knows one thing for sure.
“Well, the bass section is going to be very loud,” he said.