From 1-1:15 p.m. on Friday, September 16, the Charlottesville High School String Ensemble will perform and make a special announcement in front of the Free Speech Wall on the Downtown Mall.  The announcement? The Orchestra’s String Ensemble, an advanced group of 55 students, will take the stage this summer in Ireland.

The September 16 announcement will include a brief performance by the String Ensemble and comments from Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools, and Del. David Toscano.  The event will kick off the group’s fundraising efforts to support the venture, which is the group’s fifth European tour.

When Laura Mulligan Thomas first came to Charlottesville 35 years ago, the CHS Orchestra had 8 members. The full orchestra now boasts 139 musicians, one of the largest high school orchestra programs in the state. The 55 who comprise the String Ensemble are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have gained entrance through audition. The orchestra has developed an international reputation of performing at the highest level, receiving top prizes and superior ratings at competitions around the globe.  The group has received media attention from The New York Times, Southern Living, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio, among others.