Franklin Central grad brings German youth orchestra to Southside
Southsider Voice editor
Hayley Huff grew up with music in her life; her parents, Joe and Janet Huff, were musicians, so it was almost inevitable that Hayley would also share a love of music. She was active in a variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles, choirs, instrumental ensembles and orchestras and won many singing contests.
Where it led her, not predictable at all from her home in beautiful Downtown Wanamaker, is literally worlds away now that she lives in Stuttgart, Germany.
Huff graduated from Franklin Central in 2005 and earned a degree in music from the University of Indianapolis in 2009. She studied German at both schools and served as president of UIndy’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education.
Her first job out of college was a two-year stint with an environmental law firm, where she sat in front of a computer all day. ... That was not her calling.
Huff headed to Stuttgart with her belongings packed tightly into two suitcases as she went in search of history and music in a new country. She accepted a teaching position in vocal and elementary education at Musikschule Filderstadt.
Now in her fourth year in Germany, she sings with the state’s top choir, is a member of a professional vocal ensemble and various wind and symphony orchestras.
In addition to becoming a full-time teacher and working on building an institutionalized and bilingual early music education program, Huff maintains a private music studio where she teaches piano and voice.
An aspect that she appreciates about German music schools is that they are not only for kids of all ages but also serve the community and offer private instruction.
As a native English speaker and having had a variety of experiences in musical studies, her activities are broader than others at the school. Huff says the diversity “fits her person very well.”
Huff’s duties at the school include vocal lessons and teaching movement, rhythm and an instrument carousel, where children are allowed to play many instruments. She’s in charge of the French horn since she has played it for a long time.
Huff is now fluent in German. “People in Germany are so forgiving for non-German speakers,” she said. Luckily, she has been singing German songs for 10 years and studied diction in college, which helped her become fluent because she dedicated so much time to her accent when singing.
Because Huff lives in the metropolitan area of Stuttgart, she doesn’t need a car; she either rides trains or buses or walks everywhere. The school is a 20-minute train ride. “Waking up and seeing the mountains in the distance and spring coming to Stuttgart makes it a beautiful place to live.”
Last year Huff told her boss that she had an idea for their youth orchestra trip ... and the destination was Indianapolis. The trip would serve two purposes: She could show off her hometown while creating a link between Indianapolis and southern Germany, which houses more than 50 percent of German music schools. The Germans have no problem with the arts being advertised.
So the plan was set in motion for their transatlantic flight. Huff’s entourage of nearly 70 people features 50 students.
The first of three free performances is a duet, and it will feature award-winning violinist Rosa Wember and cellist Sebastian Fritsch at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, 110 S. Washington St., at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 15.
The second show will feature some of the musicians performing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the intimate setting of the German-American Klub, 8602 S. Meridian St.
A meet and greet reception follows. Reservations should be emailed to email@example.com or phoned to 445-3929 or 888-6940.
The last and most dynamic concert will feature the entire ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, at Franklin Central, 6215 S. Franklin Road.
The three-part concert will showcase the combined orchestras from the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra and Musikschule Filderstadt performing separately before joining forces to fill the air with the musical sounds of the global collaboration. Works by Bernstein, Beethoven, Elgar, Frescobaldi, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Saint-Saens and Shostakovich will be performed.
Huff welcomes everyone to come to hear a truly international sound from young Germans who are eager to share their gift of music.