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Belgrade student orchestra preparing to strike a chord in France to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said student Deryk Stone. “Plus the croissants.”
Posted at 4:15 PM, Feb 08, 2024

BELGRADE — Altogether, the Belgrade orchestra makes a lot of noise with their stringed instruments. Now, they’re getting ready to strike a chord in France.

“We’re excited but scared,” said Deryk Stone. “Because what are we going do, what am I going to have to learn—there are always challenges you have to go through.”

Dylan Morgan and Deryk Stone are middle schoolers and members of Belgrade’s orchestra program.

“It’s taught me perseverance, to keep with it,” said Dylan.

And that’s thanks to their teacher, Cindy Stone, who brought the program to life five years ago.

“Belgrade needed this,” said Stone. “We’ve just been growing like crazy ever since then.”

In 2019, Stone only had 12 students enrolled in orchestra. Today, there are 180 middle school and high school students enrolled.

“That’s a lot of kids,” said Stone.

But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I get to watch these children become confident young men and women, and it is truly an honor,” she said.

Another honor, Stone says, is her orchestra being invited to perform at the 80th anniversary of D-Day in France.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Deryk. “Plus the croissants.”

But aside from the croissants, Deryk and Dylan say they’re excited to honor their great-grandparents who fought in World War II.

“We get to play at the cemetery in Normandy and lay a wreath down,” said Stone. “I look forward to these students experiencing that.”

In the meantime, Stone and her students are raising money to make it there. A bingo night fundraiser is planned for Saturday, Feb. 10 at the American Legion Manhattan. To grab tickets, visit:

Another upcoming event is a rock concert by “Electrify your Symphony” formed by a founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Belgrade students will experience two full days of workshops and rehearsals, preparing for a high-energy, high-octane final concert on the evening of the second day.

Here is the link for Rock Concert Tickets: []