ROSEBORO — With a bow in her hand, Emma Matthews enjoys using her talent and creating beautiful music on her violin.
She recently played a few notes for her classmates at Roseboro Elementary School. Now, she’s ready to perform in front of larger crowds with an elite group of musicians. Emma was accepted into the Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra. Following a recent audition, she was ecstatic about joining a group of special musicians.
“It feels good,” Emma said about the experience. “I get nervous about learning new things, but I know that I have my family and friends to encourage me.”
Emma, a fifth-grade student at Roseboro Elementary School, began playing the violin a few years ago and comes from a family where several members play instruments. She enjoys performing with them. Their services were recently requested at Open Arms Ministry. Her dad, Darell Matthews, plays the guitar and is proud of her accomplishment. The elder Matthews has been involved with music throughout his life and played various instruments.
“To see Emma take a liking to music was wonderful,” Darell said.
He added that she’s the youngest member in the orchestra, which consists of older teenagers. Dr. Larry Wells, a professor from Methodist University, is the director and conductor for the organization. Having exposure to professionals such as Wells, makes her parents joyful too.
As a parent of a student in orchestra, he hopes the accomplishment of Emma and other students will encourage the Sampson County schools system to start an orchestra program. To learn violin skills, Emma takes private lessons from Arta Hardin, a member of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the North Carolina Symphony.
As a member of the ensemble, Matthews practices for one hour a day. For the holiday season, they will perform tunes from the “Nutcracker.”
“I have to practice a whole lot,” Matthews said.
One of her favorite violinist is Lindsey Stirling, an artist who became famous after an appearance on “America’s Got Talent.” Stirling also began at a young age.
“I want to keep playing for a long time and I want to go to different schools to help kids learn how to play instruments,” Emma said.
Along with music, Emma want to become a marine biologist and attend the University of North Carolina Wilmington — her father’s alma mater.
Principal Tonya Colwell believes that participating in extra-curricular activities such as music is very important. She said the experiences promote traits such as social skills, self-esteem, responsibility and time management.
“Our Roseboro Elementary School family is very proud of Emma and her accomplishments,” Colwell said. “We look forward to seeing where her dedication and talent will take her in the future.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.