Dixie Ortiz was a fifth-grader when she first heard the violin.
A teacher at her elementary school in Winter Haven, Florida, was performing to generate interest in the orchestra program.
Ortiz was captivated.
“I thought it was the most beautiful, wonderful sound I had ever heard in my life,” recalls the UNCG senior.
Ortiz had grown up listening to mariachi music and Mexican artists. Classical music was a new discovery for the young girl. That was 11 years ago.
She’s now on track to earn a music education degree this spring.
Ortiz chose UNCG, she says, because of Associate Professor of Music Education Rebecca MacLeod and her work on the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program. The ambitious project has provided free music instruction to hundreds of local children over the years, many from groups underrepresented in string education. The program, which involves a partnership between UNCG, the Greensboro Symphony, and two Guilford County schools, also allows music education majors the opportunity to develop as teachers in a diverse setting.
Originally published Feb. 12, 2019.