Thursday was the first public performance for music students of Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's Music After School Program also known as "YOSA Mas."
These musicians in the making first started taking lessons at the beginning of the school year. Since then, these 50 students have made big strides.
With either a violin or cello in hand, 4th and 5th grade students from Edgewood ISD made some beautiful music Thursday night.
They're all part of YOSA Mas, a program which offers intensive string instruction to at-risk and underserved students on San Antonio's West Side. Students provided instruments, instruction and a safe space to learn.
"It's a path to college, it's a path to music scholarships it's a path to generational change. They're not all going to become musicians but it's a way for them to realize more about who they are and what they can become ," said Troy Peters the Music Director of YOSA.
From the very beginning, YOSA Más students practice ensemble playing and performance. They focus on 4th and 5th grade students for a reason.
“They're mature enough and in control enough of their fine motor skills to be able to play string instruments , but they're still young enough to be open to new experiences," said Peters.
The students come from 7 different elementary schools in Edgewood ISD. These students get lessons 3 times a week for free.
Student and violinist Jayleen Rangel said, “I hope to do this in the future and become famous. "
This is Jayleen's second year in the program. She said playing the violin regularly has opened her eyes to playing professionally and writing her own music.
Jayleen’s mother said her daughter is the first in the family to play an instrument. In fact, she can practice for hours when she's able to take the violin home.
"She'll show every single one of us individually or she'll play by herself in the room, so she likes to play the music a lot," said Belinda Rangel Jayleen’s Mother.
YOSA Mas has been working with children on the Westside for 4 years, but this is the first time they have teamed up with Edgewood ISD.
For more information on their program if you’re interested in making a donation to them, just head to their website www.yosa.org.