Kexin (Muna) Ding and Zoe D'Olimpio were part of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's Green Room Program before the VSO's performance at Lyndon State College on Sept. 29. The two joined cellist Bonnie Thurber Klimowski for dinner before the performance, discussed the pieces that were to be played and given an inside perspective on being a member of the VSO. They also received a free ticket to the concert, materials about the performance and CDs of the works on the program.
"This night was so much fun," said D'Olimpio. "Meeting such advanced and intelligent musicians was quite the honor. Also getting to eat dinner with the musicians, and really get to know them and talk with them was special. Bonnie Klimowski, the cellist, and Rob Paterson, the composer of one of the pieces the orchestra played, were funny and nice. Being there with my friends while watching and seeing such talented musicians was really spectacular. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I would definitely like to do this program over again and recommend it to other student musicians."
D'Olimpio is a sophomore, plays the violin and is a student of Joan Kirchoff. Muna Ding is a senior at Lyndon Institute. She plays the cello and takes lessons from local musician Ike Patch. Both are members of the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra. Each will write a short review of their experience afterwards.
Also participating were Samantha Storz from St. Johnsbury Academy and Eamon Roosa, a home-schooled student.
The program takes its name from the "green room," the space in a performance hall where musicians or actors can wait before being called to the stage. In the past, many of the rooms were painted green. Today, the "green room" is often not green at all.
The Green Room Program is part of the VSO's Symphony Kids Educational Outreach program. It started in 2003 with Burlington-area schools. Because of its success it is now offered statewide as funding becomes available.