The Desert Review Article ### NoCCA hosts violin recital at Sacred Heart School

By: Lloyd Miller August 15, 2014

BRAWLEY – Sacred Heart School was the venue for the ARTSparks Savvy Strings Program recital Friday morning.

Fifteen students played and showed the audience that music still is a part of Brawley’s culture. Some of the students played solos or duets. The recital ended with two songs played by the entire group.

North County coalition for the Arts (NoCCA) Executive Director Rosemarie Arana Wood explained their role in this recital.

“NoCCA is here to help organize and participate in these types of events. We help bring people together including artists, venues, organizers, and students,” said Wood. “We also help market and promote. That’s what an arts council should do. This is the first time 75% of these kids have ever picked up an instrument. It was amazing what they accomplished in just a few days.”

The instructors were Esteban Corona, from El Centro and Brett Bird, from Santa Clarita.

“We had 15 to 17 kids this week,” said Corona. “They were hard workers. They wanted to be here. We had a smaller group this year, so it was more of a one-on-one situation. We had more time to help them individually.”

The program started on Monday and the recital was Friday. The ages of the students ranged from 5 to 13 years.

“The first day was introduction and matching the students with their instruments,” said Corona. “We started the music Tuesday and practiced for today’s recital. Three days. The kids were super determined this year.”

Sacred Heart School Principal Brian Barrett said, “This is what we’re trying to do here a Sacred Heart. We’ve blended Brawley elementary schools, Imagine, Brawley Christian Academy, and some Imperial kids. That is what we are all about. This school is here for the community. We hope to continue this program this fall with Mr. Corona. All will be welcome. I feel this is a great way to keep the arts going and growing the youth in the north end of the Valley.”

“I want to thank and recognize our sponsors,” said Wood. “ECCO 2 with Ann and Shelvie Crittendon, Pepsi and Sal Ortiz for the water, Brawley Elementary School District for the loan of the instruments and the stands,  Sacred Heart School and Brian Barrett for the venue, and to the parents for supporting the arts. We also want to thank our instructors Mr. Corona and Mr. Bird for their great contribution to these students’ lives.”