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Discover Fauquier December 2018
18
Regional manager for Music & Arts, one of the largest
music retailers in the country, Diana Traietta serves
public schools in Loudoun, Prince William, and Fauquier
counties. For the past six years, she has been providing
music teachers with musical instruments, accessories,
songbooks, rentals, repairs, and lessons to help grow
their programs.
A product of New York state public schools,
Diana's school music program experience
prepared her for a college music education
degree and a career in the music world.
With her family's never-ending support,
Diana has been playing the violin since
the age of six.
"I felt awkward as a teen," Diana shares.
"But I found a safe place in the music
room, like I belonged. That same feeling
applies to kids now. It's a creative outlet
that allows us to be who we are meant to
be. Music is our friend and allows many
young people to fi nd their voice."
After recruiting fi fth graders in the spring of 2013 for the
next school year's band and orchestra, Diana visited
Fauquier's Cedar Run Middle
School that fall. She was
dismayed to discover that
although many kids already
had their instruments, their
schedules didn't include band
and orchestra. Unfortunately,
s t u d e n t s w h o u n d e r-
performed on their SOLs had
to fi ll the music time slot with
remediation classes and were
ineligible to participate in band
and orchestra, putting them a
year behind their peers and
making it almost impossible
for them to catch up. Diana
saw a real problem and
wanted to help.
After brainstorming and planning with some friends and
business associates, the nonprofi t Fauquier County Youth
Orchestra was born. Board member Tim Dingus of Drum &
Strum Music Center in Warrenton helped set up the 501(c)
(3), for which Diana serves as executive director. Other
key staff include director Laura Okonski, string conductor
Laura Morgan, and jazz band conductor Craig Dye. All
are public school music teachers who volunteer their time.
"We wanted to offer an accessible program to the community
so that anybody can learn to play an instrument," Diana
explains. The cost is $10 a week and students' families
pay as they are able for the Wednesday night one-hour
rehearsals at Highland School in Warrenton. All fees
go toward the program, including space rental, music,
T-shirts, and supplies.
Beginning with just 12 kids in 2014, news
spread quickly. They now have 30 students
from all walks of life from 6th­12th grade,
pulling from public, private, and home
schools. "There is no audition," Diana says.
"We just look for passion--a strong desire
to learn and play." Students are placed in
beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels
based on their abilities. Many have been
with them since the beginning and are now
auditioning for the highly competitive Senior
Regional Orchestra in public schools.
The youth orchestra has performed at
1st Friday events, the Warrenton Farmer's Market, the
2017 9/11 Tribute in Summerduck, VA, and at Fauquier
Hospital, where they gain valuable experience in giving
back to the community. They have even gotten a taste of
being professional musicians
after performing at several
weddings. The highlight of the
orchestra's experience was
competing in the Big Apple
Classic, a national competition
held in New York City, where
they took fi rst place in their
division. They were the fi rst
private youth orchestra ever
to compete, making the award
that much sweeter. All those
hours of independent practice
between rehearsals paid off!
T h e i r u p c o m i n g
f r e e
holiday c onc er t is on
Sunday, December 16 at 6:00 p.m. at Drum & Strum
Music Center,102 Main Street in Warrenton. The first half
features Christmas music while the second half offers
a performance of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas,
complete with actors and set design. To learn more, visit
www.fauquieryouthorchestra.org.
Orchestrating
Opportunities
for Fauquier
County Youth
~ Lynnette Esse
Jazz Band
Youth Beginner and Intermediate Orchestra
caption
Some of the best elements of the holiday
season here in Fauquier County include
making memories at local holiday events
and savoring homemade treats, especially
baked goods!
VonCanon General Store
is launching an activity that combines
the two--its inaugural Cookie Crawl
on Saturday, December 15 from 10:00
a.m.­2:00 p.m. All residents (and visitors)
are invited to visit Old Town Warrenton
to participate!
How does it work? It's simple. Stop by
GumDrop Square (and visit with Santa if you
haven't already done so) to pick up a map
of where to find the following 19 businesses
participating in the Cookie Crawl: The Bike
Stop, Carter & Spence, Dejavu, Earth,
Glaze & Fire, Fauquier History Museum,
Framecraft, Gateau, Great Harvest Bread
Company, Haute Cakes Pastry Shop, Kelly
Ann's Quilting, Latitudes, The Law Office of
Marie Washington, Main Street Wellness,
Past Reflections, Sherrie's Stuff, Vallie's
Vintage, VonCanon General Store, Walk
by Faith, and Yarnia of Old Town. All of
these businesses are located either on or
near Main Street--and if you've shopped
in Old Town recently, you likely noticed the
posters announcing their participation in
the Cookie Crawl.
At each location, sample a bitesize
cookie, which range from gingerbread,
snickerdoodle, and chocolate chip to
gingerbread, molasses, salted caramel,
lemon lavender, and more! Once you've
finished tasting, head to VonCanon General
Store to vote for your favorite cookie and
sign up for your chance to win the raffle,
which includes gifts from each of the
participating Cookie Crawl businesses!
The VonCanon staff will draw the raffle
winner's name at 3:00 p.m.--don't worry,
you don't need to be present to win.
And the shop that gets the most votes
for best cookie wins bragging rights in
addition to a big silly trophy! To learn more,
call
(540) 222-6196.
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
VonCanon General Store
Hosts Inaugural
"Cookie Crawl"
FOCUS
ON BUSINESS