High Mountain Strings

High Mountain Strings- Just for Kids!

High Mountain Strings, McCall Music Society’s newest initiative, is a program for the development of strings players in our local elementary and middle school. Based on providing instruction for beginner and intermediate students, the program began in February 2016, and has grown in numbers since it’s inception. Much of the credit for this success belongs to our outstanding teacher, Jonelle Darrow, who travels to McCall each week throughout the calendar year. She teaches using the traditional approach while incorporating elements of the Suzuki method, and teaches in small groups as well as individually. There are currently 20 violin students receiving instruction from Mrs. Darrow.

Barbara Morgan Elementary School hosts the after-school violin lessons weekly. This is a great advantage to the program because the children are already in the school building where the lessons are given. The High Mountain Strings have played on several occasions at school assemblies and have performed at the Music Society’s Christmas program for the community. These performances provided a sense of excitement, challenge and pride for the young violinists and parents alike!

By all measure, we have found parents pleased with the strings program. Tuition is collected monthly and the Music Society has violins available to rent. Parents often come to the lessons to observe the progress of their children.

The Music Society plans to continue to develop the strings program for our greater mountain community. It is our belief that music in its many forms, provides great benefits to children during the learning years. Our ultimate goal is to see strings incorporated into the school curriculum.

Please contact Richard Surbeck (President) for details: surbeckr@gmail.com or 208-315-0905.

Meet Jonelle Anderson Darrow, Program Director

Born and raised in Idaho, Jonelle has a deep love for the natural world.  As a very young child, her love of wildlife and trees could be seen in her gentleness toward all living things. Infatuated with the record player and the radio, Jonelle constantly listened to music.   Her love of music and the violin later developed into a Bachelor of Music and Music Education degree.  During college she fell in love with percussion instruments and in addition to her violin studies, enjoyed playing in the University Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Winds,  and Marching Band.  She interviewed with the international performing arts organization Up With People and upon acceptance began a world tour performing for 12 months in Australia, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and the continental United States.

Her love of travel continued as she visited friends in Sweden and Switzerland and traveled across Europe living out of a suitcase.  She was encouraged to open a private violin studio under the guidance of Leah Telford and has continued to manage a successful studio for over 20 years.

She was recognized as a Distinguished Educator in recognition of exceptional teaching and inspirational guidance to the students of Boise Idaho and given an award.  Her love of teaching continued as she went on to study religions, spiritual practices, and child development. In addition to teaching children violin she has performed with professional and community orchestras, small ensembles, festivals, gigging string quartets, and volunteer outreach.

She volunteers each year for Boise Music Week and Hymns of Thanksgiving– events that are free to the public. Her teaching and performing have been influenced by a multitude of people, formal and independent studies, travels abroad, observation, and good old fashioned life experience, all of which have profoundly contributed to her teaching and music career.  She is currently a member of the Boise Baroque Orchestra and is the violin teacher for the ‘Just For Kids’ High Mountain Strings program in McCall and Cascade.  She and her husband enjoy spending time with their son and fur babies.

*Special thanks to her local music teachers whose influence, encouragement, and support will always be remembered- Dale Ball, Shirley Madsen, John Hamilton, Leah Telford, Mel Shelton, David Wells, Harriet Dean, John Baldwin, Marcellus Brown, Craig Purdy, and those who also made an impact but are too many to mention from all over the globe.

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