Hixson High School's Wildcat Strings Orchestra is a "great source of pride for our school and community, " according to principal Lee Sims. The program, an unusual one for local public schools, has experienced rapid growth, and students are crammed into an outdated classroom.  Like most arts programs, Hixson's strings orchestra receives no county funding, so they work hard at their music, and to keep the program afloat.

Teacher Nichole Pitts said, "We appreciate any support, because as we grow, we have more needs. We spend a lot on repairs." 

Now in rehearsals for their annual spring concert, the orchestra keeps a busy schedule performing at events inside and outside Hixson High.  The students are proud to be a part of something special.  The response they receive from audiences drives them to be even better.

Orchestra president Brandon McGrath, a senior, said, "It's heartwarming, and the love we get from audiences helps us become a really strong orchestra." 

McGrath is one of only a handful of seniors in the orchestra, so most of the students will be a part of the Hixson Strings for years to come.  Classroom space permitting, they say they expect the program to grow, making an even bigger impression on their community.  They're thankful for administrative and parental support that saved a once-endangered program.  

Mrs. Pitts said, "When this program was in danger of being eliminated a few years ago, parents stood up and helped. Otherwise it wouldn't have been here today."  The band's spring concert is set for April 26.