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Lafayette String Orchestra Hopes Show in Springfield Will Save School

HUMBOLDT PARK — The string orchestra at Lafayette Elementary School, which is one of 54 schools slated to be closed or consolidated, is hoping to win some supporters to stop the closing when it plays in Springfield Monday.

The orchestra has been invited to perform in front of the public and lawmakers in the Capitol rotunda between noon and 1 p.m.

Last month, orchestra director and music teacher Arturs Weible organized a Lafayette "celebration" concert and video in hopes of persuading CPS administrators to rethink their decision to close the school.

Now he and the children are planning to take that fight to Springfield, though the trip originally hadn't been planned that way. Weible and the kids were invited to play back in October, months before the school closings lists came out.

He said he takes the kids out to perform whenever he can, but hopes this concert will further their cause.

"I thought, 'Well, that would be a great experience,' but now that we are on the closure list it takes on the added significance that someone there may take our cause under consideration and reverse this mistake," Weible said. "So it's very fortuitous in that sense."