Young musician designs creative enterprise to follow her dreams

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    SPARTA-To say that 15 nyear-old Jordan Tarantino is an extremely dedicated musician is perhaps an understatement. The teenager plays the violin, cello, French horn and piano. Her talent has earned her an Associate Concert Master's seat in the Sussex County Youth Orchestra. In addition, she sings and plays in her church band. The musical world in which she lives is complete except for one crucial thing: Tarantino desperately wants to join the Sussex County Youth Orchestra on its trip to Europe this summer. Tarantino is dreaming of taking in the sights of Switzerland and France as well as enjoying the thrilling experience of playing in five concerts for audiences in Carcassonne, Avignon, Lyon, Strasbourg and Haut Konigsbourg-Riquewihr along the way. The problem is that family finances can not support the once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, Tarantino had to figure out another way to foot the bill for the trip. "My mom and the orchestra director (Dawn Tedesco) and I were brainstorming fund-raising ideas," said Tarantino. "We came up with the idea to go to local businesses." To set her plan in motion, Tarantino combed all the area newspapers looking for advertisements of local businesses and send them a letter explaining her plight and sounding the call for help. Many have answered. Nikki Schiro, owner of Scranberry Coop, an antique consortium in Andover, sent in a sizable contribution. "We were impressed that she went out of her way to take the initiative and work so hard to get the money to go on the trip," said Schrio. "We know what it is like to come from a family where money is tight and we wanted to help. Plus we are big supporters of music and the arts. These programs are so important." The Highlands Veterinary Hospital and Elite Nails, both in Sparta, were also among the contributors. "We like to help people and do good things for the community," said Elite Nail owner Sun Hee Woo. Kristine Suszczynski, Highlands Veterinary Hospital Manager echoed that sentiment. "We try to do this kind of thing as often as we can," said Suszczynski. "This seems like a great opportunity for this talented young girl and we wanted to help." Tarantino is pleased with and appreciative of the outpouring of support. "It makes me feel really good," said Tarantino. "I am surprised that complete strangers want to help me." So far Tarantino has collected more than $800 dollars, but a total of $2,300 dollars is needed to foot the bill. If no more donations are forthcoming, Tarantino has a back-up plan. "I'll go door to door to churches and nursing homes, and play my music for donations," said Tarantino, Those who wish to help Tarantino may do so by sending donations to Jordan Tarantino, 15 Mitchell Ave., Franklin, NJ 07416.