When Ben Podolski stated out as Orchestra Director at Wheeling Park High School he had three students. Now thirty years later that number has grown to well over 100. The students say that learning to play an instrument is a unique and rewarding experience.
“We have over one hundred kids involved with the strings program and that’s because it gets good reviews year after year.I believe people keep coming back because they realize how much they love playing an instrument. They realize the desire they have to get out there and do something that is not typical sports. Playing an instrument can and will be fun,” said Jarred Jorden.
“It’s nice to see incoming freshmen at he level that they are and through their four years here actually start thinking about being in music or just seeing the growth that they had and and the enjoyment that they have and looking forward to our concert and our trips and whatever we do. They really like being here and I like teaching them,” said Podolski.
Katie Hendrick is a senior and plans to study music composition. She says that music benefits students in ways they may not even be aware of.
“Rhythms are really important. They use math to get those started. They engage the brain with math. The sound of the strings and how the rosin vibrates the string is physics. That’s showing people how sound waves move. You can see that when you are working on music. They are working together. Your brain is getting a lot of exercise. You can’t just get from doing math. That you can’t just get from doing English. It combines all of it,” Hendrick said.
They perform two concerts each year. One of the concerts is a string-only concert and the other with a full orchestra. They will also be involved in a competition at Cedar Point in May.