November 10, 2006

Recital to feature Egyptian Suzuki School students

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Paula M. Allison believes that music can transform lives. As director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Egyptian Suzuki School, Allison has seen this happen time and time again.

Now in its 23rd year, the Egyptian Suzuki School provides comprehensive music education for kids of all ages. Plucked from schools across Southern Illinois, the children pick up the violin, viola, cello, guitar or piano, and they learn lessons that go beyond the classroom.

"Children are given the foundation to use music as a hobby or to build professional skills," Allison said. "When you have a student who feels good about what he or she is doing, it changes their self-esteem and their outlook on life."

Fifty young musicians will perform during the Egyptian Suzuki School winter recital set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall on the SIUC campus. The event is free and open to the public. Organizers will accept donations at the door for the scholarship fund.

Over the years, the program has produced mini-maestros.

"There are many students who have gotten college scholarships," Allison said.

"I'm very proud of the program in that we are able to provide for the region the highest-quality music education for young children. They are being trained to compete with peers from major metropolitan areas."

For more information, call 618/53-MUSIC (536-8742).

Coordinating and expanding major cultural outreach programs are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.