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SD 146 grad gets CYSO spot

Michael Harms  |  Supplied photo

Michael Harms | Supplied photo

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Updated: August 11, 2014 1:51PM



Michael Harms, a recent graduate of Central Middle School in Tinley Park, recently was selected to become a part of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the fall, according to a press release from Community Consolidated School District 146.

Michael, who graduated this year, applied for a tryout after learning about the audition from a friend, the release said.

“The CYSO application process required that I send in a resume of all my accomplishments,” Michael said in the release. “I was accepted for an audition and it was set for April 15 at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago. After about a month after tryouts, I learned of my acceptance into the CYSO.”

Michael began his musical pursuit four years ago as a student in School District 146, playing the cornet (similar to a trumpet) for the first three years and the trumpet for the last year, the release said.

“My sisters played the woodwinds when I was growing up and I wanted to do something different, so I had to choose between a French horn and a cornet,” he said in the release. “I just felt more comfortable playing the cornet. Then after a few years I changed to the trumpet.”

His dedication to music has brought him many opportunities, CYSO being one of them. Being part of the Central Middle School marching band was one of his most overall favorite experiences and best memories, he said in the release.

“I always felt like I was part of something important. I met most of my friends in the Central Middle School band,” he said. “We learned to work together to accomplish great things, like when we won two Illinois state titles. We also had an incredible band director. Mr. (Jason) Freeland always encouraged me to be the best that I could be. He is such a positive and nice guy, and truly gifted at what he does. An opportunity to learn under Mr. Freeland is alone a good enough reason to join the band program at Central. Everything that he taught, and that I learned from him, is irreplaceable. I will truly miss him and his guidance.”

Michael practices his trumpet every day for a minimum of one hour, according to the release. He realizes that his commitment to high school studies, the Sandburg High School band and private practice will increase tremendously.

“My Saturdays will be all about rehearsing several hours with the CYSO during the school year, and then during the week I have to keep up with my studies and my high school band commitment,” he said in the release. “It’s going to be a huge undertaking, but I am very excited about it.”

The Chicago Youth Symphony Band is open to students from ages 6 to 18 years, and Michael hopes to remain with them until age 18, the release said.

“I am committed to my music,” he said in the release. “I would like to compose and perform professionally someday. When I finally head off to college in four years, I hope to study music theory and performance.”



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