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Strings for smiles

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One of the children with cancer builds a gingerbread house with the orchestra students on Dec. 11.

One of the children with cancer builds a gingerbread house with the orchestra students on Dec. 11.

Katie Bullock

Katie Bullock

One of the children with cancer builds a gingerbread house with the orchestra students on Dec. 11.

Katie Bullock, Features Editor

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On Dec. 11, orchestra students took the opportunity to perform for a different type of audience than what they are used to, children with leukemia and lymphoma.

“They [the kids] seemed really happy,” sophomore Maggie Williams said.  “I know they probably don’t get to have that feeling a lot because of what is happening in their lives, so it was nice to be able to see them like that.”

Katie Bullock
One of the children with cancer builds a gingerbread house with the orchestra students on Dec. 11.

Williams was one of about two dozen orchestra students who played at the event, a holiday party sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that gives children and their families the opportunity to enjoy the holidays in a safe, controlled environment.

“We danced with them a lot, and made gingerbread houses,” said Williams. “They wouldn’t stop smiling when we did that.”

For sophomore Savannah Brown, the experience was made even more bittersweet by a previous personal experience.

“When I was younger, my mom had this friend named Kelly,” Brown said. “I don’t really remember her [Kelly] having hair, because she had leukemia for as long as I’d known her. A few months before she died she gave me this bandana that said ‘Love’ all over it. When she died, I started using it to wipe off the strings on my violin. Now every time that I play I always think of her.”

Both Brown and Williams have been playing the violin since fifth grade, but this was the first time either had used her talents to perform at a service event.

“I never thought about being able to do things like this,” Williams said. “I only thought about playing concerts. When I see them [the kids] it makes me really glad because I never expected to be able to make someone smile just by playing a simple song.”

Katie Bullock.
Sophomores Ana-Le Lund, Ashley Johnson, Maggie Williams, and junior Kashe Turner lead the children in the Macarena on Dec. 11.

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Strings for smiles