“All of them are on the A/B Honor Roll,” Browne said. “It’s important to me that they strike a balance.” Gurta is also in chorus and on the cheerleading squad; Mitchell plays the piano; Pennington is a baseball player; Vishwanath plays the violin. All of the students in Crystal Clear, however, enjoy being able to focus more in guitar during the summer without the added burden of homework or school activities. “It’s a good way to take up time instead of just sitting at home and doing nothing,” Pennington said. Gurta agreed that she spends more time on the guitar during the summer months. “I really enjoy music, so I can spend two to three hours a day practicing if I want to during the summer,” she said. Vishwanath noted that he has time to take a long look at the sheet music from guitar and see if he can apply it to violin. “Because I can read the notes, a lot of the time I can play the songs on violin that we are learning on guitar,” he said. Each member of Crystal Clear has a different musical background and a different reason for wanting to play the guitar. Some began learning from family, such as Mitchell and Gurta, while others saw signs for lessons and decided to give the instrument a try.
“My grandma had taken my brother and I to Toys-R-Us,” Pennington said. “I wanted to learn how to play the guitar, and we saw a flyer for Childbloom and I signed up. A lot of my friends played the electric guitar and they were surprised when I was learning how to read notes.”
Mitchell’s father played the guitar in her youth. Gurta’s grandmother had tried teaching her guitar, and when her brother got a guitar for Christmas and began lessons, she decided to take part as well. “Noah was supposed to be the one taking lessons,” Browne said. “But Amilyn signed up
Members of the Crystal Clear Guitar Ensemble perform at Lakeside Chapel with special guest Lackawana Sky.
July | August 2015