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Happy 20th Metropolitan Youth Orchestra

Special anniversary jazz concert is Sunday at Hilbert Circle Theatre

Samara Kpeti (center) of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra rehearsing with Pink Martini (MYO/Facebook)

Happy 20th birthday to an orchestra with a mission.

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra in Indianapolis is 20 years old this year, and as it has in each of those years, it gives at-risk kids a chance to learn more than just music.  "We discourage at-risk behaviors in kids aged 5-18 through the rehearsal of string instruments.  The kids get lessons twice a week," said Krystle Ford, the associate director of the MYO who was also a member of the orchestra when she was growing up.

The kids aren't the only ones who benefit.  Ford says the founder of the orchestra, Betty Perry, knew that parents had to be involved if the MYO were to succeed.  "She calls it giving the kids of the parents 'the uptown mentality', a very New York thing, going to museums, going to performances," Ford said - Perry is a New York native.  All parents of first-year Metropolitan Youth Orchestra students have to take music lessons alongside their child for that reason.

The MYO is celebrating its anniversary with a jazz concert Sunday afternoon at 3pm at Hilbert Circle Theatre.  There will also be pre-show activities and more information about the orchestra beginning at 2pm in the lobby of the theatre.


Here is my interview with Samara Kpeti, 15, who plays bass in the MYO and MYO associate director Krystle Ford:


The MYO of Indianapolis celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. My chat with its associate director, Krystle Ford, and Samara Kpeti, who is 15 and has played bass in the orchestra for the last three years. They will hold a special anniversary jazz concert Sunday at 3pm at Hilbert Circle Theatre.


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