For 25 years, the Strolling Strings of Williamsport Area High School have been a fixture at community events, adding luster wherever they take their variety of string instruments.
The violins, violas, and bass cellos also have played at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and NASCAR events.
Besides the warming melodies they offer, the Strolling Strings are noted for walking throughout the venue where they perform. They bring the music to the audience.
On Saturday, the Strolling Strings held a 25th anniversary celebratory performance at the Community Arts Center featuring the current crop of musicians and 50 alumni of the program.
The performance was as memorable as the program has been. The Strolling Strings stand as a symbol of the excellence of the school's entire music program, which is routinely recognized among the nation's best.
And the good news is that it is not the only excellent music program among schools in the area. It is difficult in these times of tight school budgets and fundamental learning priorities to maintain strong programs in any of the arts. But if that excellence in the arts can be maintained within the framework of a school district's budget, communities are enriched and students gain self-esteem they might not otherwise get.
As the Strolling Strings show on a regular basis, well-nurtured interests in the arts can bring unique benefits to communities.