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VITRAN Bus Service Suspended on Halloween After 5 p.m.

VITRAN’s fixed route bus service will be suspended at 5 p.m. on St. Thomas and St. Croix on Friday, Oct.…

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With schools across the territory getting ready for a Sept. 2 opening date, V.I. Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory told the community the Education Department is focused on "putting in the framework we need to support our students, our teachers and our administrators."

 
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Best Beginnings Early Childhood Conference Brings Change

The 16th annual Best Beginnings Early Childhood Conference on St. Thomas showcased a new program style, two keynote speakers, and an emphasis on continuing education and teacher certification.

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2014-10-30 22:38:35
Jewels of the Virgin Isles – One Year Later

When I decided to bring this column to life on Nov. 1, 2013, it was to raise awareness about the incredible contributions that men and women from the U.S. Virgin Islands are making to American life and on an international scale.

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2014-10-30 22:33:41
DeJongh, Atlantic Basin Official, Sign Operating Agreement for Refinery

Gov. John deJongh Jr. and principals of Atlantic Basin Refining VI signed an operating agreement Wednesday that, once approved by the Legislature, will begin the process of restarting the oil refinery on St. Croix's south shore.

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2014-10-29 20:13:06
Local news — St. Croix
Trio Brings Message to Island Youth – Practice

 Entcho Todorov (from left), Margrit Zimmermann and Kalin Ivanov.
Entcho Todorov (from left), Margrit Zimmermann and Kalin Ivanov.

St. Croix students had a lot of questions for the visiting classical musicians at the Island Center Friday morning and covered a range of topics, but the answers kept coming back to one thing – practice.

The New York Empire Trio is on island to perform Friday and Saturday at the St. Croix Landmark Society's Candlelight Concert Series. Friday morning they took part in the Victor Borge Listen and Learn series, performing for about 200 students from public and private schools across the island. The students mostly ranged from about fourth to seventh grade, with a few older kids in the house.

The trio – Entcho Todorov, violin; Kalin Ivanov, cello; and Margrit Zimmermann, piano – performed pieces by Haydn and Dvorak, with Zimmermann talking a little about the artists and the works before they played. And though their English was a little labored – they are all originally from Eastern Europe – and the music not the usual island fare, they held the audience’s rapt attention throughout the hour-long program.

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The three met in New York City, where they now live, and have performed together since 2007, Zimmermann said. Playing together is a little like sitting and talking with friends, she said. There's a communication that takes place that transcends one person playing alone.

"It's like sitting at home alone or talking with friends," she said.

When the floor was opened to questions from the kids, more than two dozen came down front to take their turns at the mike. But though the questions were all over the board, the answers were usually pretty similar.

Does it hurt your neck to hold the violin under it so long? It did a little when he first started playing at the age of 5, Todorov said. But after years and years of practice it doesn't any more.

Hundreds of kids fill the Island Center for Friday morning's Listen and Learn session.
Hundreds of kids fill the Island Center for Friday morning's Listen and Learn session.

Do you get tired playing the piano so fast, one girl asked. Does it hurt, another child asked, No, Zimmermann said, because she practices so much. "But if I stop practicing I would probably get tired," she said.

How can you play so fast? "When I started I couldn't, it's like a baby can't run right away," Zimmermann said. "But I practice and practice and now I go fast."

In fact, as the children asked a variety of questions about all three, the answer often came back to the same issue. Each had been playing their instrument since about the age of 5, and through practice and hard work have become international stars.

"We've been almost everywhere," Todorov said. "From Europe to Asia and now the Caribbean. here we are! It's amazing. And on to South America. And we meet so many people."

But even though they now have careers performing and teaching their instruments, there's one thing that never changes. Practice. Eight hours a day and sometimes more, Todorov said. Because that's what you have to do to succeed.
 

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