Four years ago, the Ashland School District cut the 5th grade strings program due to budget restraints. This year, volunteers working under the umbrella of the Ashland Schools Foundation worked to raise money to reinstate the program. It was perfect timing considering the previous orchestra teacher in Ashland was retiring and the hiring process to find a new teacher was beginning. A nine member committee chose Lauren Trolley who I had the privilege of interviewing on Monday.
Let me just say my meeting with Lauren was like speaking with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Lauren has a warm and inviting personality. She is young and vivacious and she loves what she does. Lauren is a violinist who has a passion for creativity and unity in orchestras. She told me,
I love the orchestral setting…I love directing. I love taking a piece of music, playing through it, evaluating where it’s at and setting goals for where we want it to be and breaking it down into steps and working with each of the groups, and sections, and then bringing it back together to create something amazing… I love the complexities and intricacies of it.
Lauren will be in charge of all five of Ashland’s public school string programs, including the three elementary schools, Ashland Middle School and Ashland High School. But she is not at all daunted by the task. In fact, she is extremely excited for the opportunity. She has lots of fun and innovative ideas that she hopes to integrate into her program. Some of the ideas she seemed most excited to implement had to do with integrating technology into music. She’d also like to bring in guest artists to display the versatility of stringed instruments and enthuse her students. (Personally, I think there is nothing more motivating than watching a great performer.)
Paul Dateh is a performer that Lauren introduced me to through this YouTube video. I’m sharing it with you so you can get to know Lauren a little better and meet some of her inspiration. I hope you enjoy!