TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Students from Starkville and Tupelo met Friday at the Tupelo Civic Auditorium for the annual North Mississippi Regional Orchestra Festival.
Oxford students normally meet also, but were unable to this year.
This is not a competition between schools but rather a chance for students to sharpen their skills and develop friendships with others who have the same interests in this type of music.
Instructor Norman Mellin with Starkville High School said, "When we meet as a group here together, it's a motivational thing to bring together kids from different backgrounds and different school districts. We have them combined, we have fun together and learn together, play under different directors."
Starkville High School student Tyler Tate started developing his musical talents in the third grade.
Tate said, "I started out on the violin. Then in my sixth grade year, I switched to the double bass and I've loved it ever since then."
Molly Ray is an eighth grade student at Tupelo.
She moved last year from Kentucky.
Ray said, "The thing that brought me to Tupelo was the orchestra program. I'd never seen a school with an orchestra program before and I've been playing violin for a long time."
Students say the orchestra programs are a special part of their schools and are special to them as individuals.
Ray said, "I like playing violin because it's exciting and there's lots of different music you can play. It helps you relax."
Tate said, "It helps me be a better student with more confidence in myself."
Teachers say the music program aims to develop these young people's talents and make them more well rounded young men and women.