As a parent in this day and age it is sometimes challenging to find things to really inspire your kids to participate in — things that have nothing to do with technology, the Internet, video games or social media.
It just amazes me how often I see young people totally engrossed in something on their cell phone when all kinds of exciting things are going on around them if they would just look up for a second.
Trying to find roll models to persuade kids to really work hard to achieve something is becoming more and more difficult.
Every once in a while opportunity presents itself and we find a young person in our midst that exemplifies what hard work and dedication is all about.
Last Summer we were all introduced to a young swimmer from our area named Missy Franklin who captured all of our hearts and has inspired countless athletes to work hard to achieve their goals.
This week I want to introduce you to another young talent who is about the same age and just graduating from high school that will inspire any of your kids who are into music or the arts.
Her name is Emily Switzer, and she is a pretty extraordinary violinist. She started studying music at the age of five, and now at the ripe old age of seventeen she has racked up more credits, honors and performances than most performers achieve in a lifetime.
Here’s just a sampling of her resume.
She has been a soloist with the Lakewood Symphony, the Littleton Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony’s “Concerts for Young People.”
She has won the Denver Young Artists Concerto Competition, the Colorado Philharmonic’s Concerto Competition, and was the only Colorado Finalist in a national competition to perform the Barber Violin Concerto with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra on a tour of Europe, where she took second place.
Emily has also performed on numerous recitals with the Colorado Symphony Guild as well as the Up Close and Musical group. Recently she was also invited to perform for the National Public Radio program “From The Top” with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
Now that’s what I would call a roll model for other kids everywhere.
Emily Switzer will be performing the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major with the Lakewood Symphony Orchestra as a part of their final concert of the season on Thursday, June 6, at the Lakewood Cultural Center.
Show time is 7:30 p.m.
Entitled “Lasting Impressions” this concert will feature Overture to Martha by Friedrich von Flotow, the Puchinella Suite, a work by Igor Stravinsky for chamber orchestra as well as the Brahms Violin Concerto. All of these pieces were selected with the hope of creating a great lasting impression that the audience will take with them after the concert.
Tickets run from $12-$15 and are available online at the Lakewood Symphony Orchestra’s website at www.lakewoodsymphony.org. Take a minute to go check out their website as it also has some fascinating background on all of the musical selections for the concert.
The Lakewood Cultural Center is located at 470 S. Allison Pkwy., Lakewood. That’s near the intersection of Wadsworth and Alameda.
Bring your kids to this one as I am sure that they will enjoy the program, and also be inspired to achieve great things in their own lives.
There is nothing to compare with seeing it live on a stage in front of you.
Just make sure to make them leave their cell phones in the car so they aren’t texting through the whole thing, OK?
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multimedia production.