Orchestra Life
:: Outreach & Education

Ann Drinan  

Baltimore Symphony Performs "OrchKids Nation"

Ann Drinan
June 13, 2019

The Baltimore Symphony recently did something that I'd wager has never been done before in the history of American orchestras - they invited their young students from an inner-city school program to perform on a subscription series concert.

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Matthew Troy  

The Winston-Salem Symphony and the African Library Project

Matthew Troy
September 22, 2019

Assistant Conductor Matthew Troy created a project, titled Many People, One World, that simultaneously embraced the spirit of education and reached out to local and international communities and celebrated this milestone in a meaningful way.

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William Mesa  

The Performance of Intellectual Capital

William Mesa
August 13, 2019

"Human capital and structural capital are inseparable. While each has distinctive qualities, human capital and structural capital are essentially related and dependent upon each other. This was the finding I found which further deepened my investigation to..."

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William Mesa  

The Composition of Intellectual Capital

William Mesa
July 28, 2019

"Dimensions of human capital and structural capital were identified in the last article ("The Typology of Intellectual Capital") and provided by detail in table format. Also noted is that my overarching concern in the case study was to answer the fundamental question: How is IC used in community NPO orchestras? The use of IC is unique to NPOs that are shaped by behavioral attributes such as participation..."

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William Mesa  

The Typology of Intellectual Capital

William Mesa
July 16, 2019

"Intellectual capital (IC), intangible resources of organizations, was suggested in the previous article as a possible area to manage for orchestras to consider. IC is made up of human capital, such as competencies and individual attributes; structural capital, such as routines and processes that coordinate the orchestras purpose; and..."

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William Mesa  

The Phenomenon of Intellectual Capital in Community Non-Profit Orchestras

William Mesa
July 2, 2019

"Over the span of nine months, I conducted an in-depth case study of two comparable community non-profit orchestra organizations. My aim in the study was to essentially identify what constitutes the knowledge resources or intangible resources found in community orchestras and how are they used. What I found..."

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Ann Drinan  

Baltimore Symphony's OrchKids Program

Ann Drinan
May 17, 2019

OrchKids is a community engagement program of the Baltimore Symphony that brings musicianship, instrument instruction, and ensemble playing to young children at an inner-city West Baltimore elementary school.

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Kirsten Jermé  

Engaging Your Audience in the 21st Century: An Interview with Composer-Educator Bruce Adolphe

Kirsten Jermé
March 18, 2019

"Bruce Adolphe is a leading American composer, educator, author, performer, and radio personality. He is Resident Lecturer and Director of the Family Concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, host of Piano Puzzlers..."

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Charles Rex  

Musings on the New York Philharmonic's Vietnam Concerts

Charles Rex
November 19, 2019

To find myself as part of a cultural outreach to yet another country that for the most part had remained secretive and apart from the Western world, this to be a trip to Hanoi in Vietnam, once again with the New York Philharmonic, was going to be yet another unique highlight of my orchestral experiences.

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Delta David GierTom Dulack  

Designing a Young People's Concert Series

Delta David Gier & Tom Dulack
October 29, 2019

Our collaborations generally have begun with a day-long retreat. We begin with a theme that ties the four-concert series together. The repertoire is chosen around the theme, but each program is carefully balanced.

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David Wallace  

Reaching Out: A Musicians' Guide to Interactive Performance

David Wallace
June 26, 2019

In a world that is becoming increasingly interactive, why do so many musicians still think that an interactive performance is a concert where the performers talk and their silent, dutiful audience listens? If we publicize a performance as interactive, we must interact. Otherwise, let's call our event a lecture recital and stop kidding ourselves. So what is an interactive performance?

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Ann Drinan  

El Sistema: An afternoon with José Antonio Abreu

Ann Drinan
March 13, 2019

It is an essential feature of our project that it is founded on the principle that a youth orchestra is not going to be an mediocre orchestra. It starts with the orchestra members' self esteem. They must consider themselves sufficiently excellent to represent the country in other countries.

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Mariel Reynolds  

Atlanta Symphony's Community Engagement Programs

Mariel Reynolds
February 20, 2019

Over the past 11 years The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has conducted and built an extensive education and community engagement (CE) program.

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Aaron Dworkin  

Breaking the Sound Barrier: The Sphinx Organization and Classical Music

Aaron Dworkin
February 11, 2019

As I share with you my story and the work of the Sphinx Organization, I ask you to consider the accomplishments of so many musicians, many of whose achievements have gone unrecognized for far too long. I will also share a poem or two that I have written that reflects the topic or period in my life that I am discussing, as I feel that the artistic word can often share more with less than mere prose. I hope you will indulge me.

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Carla Johnson  

The Harmony Project: Another Iteration of a Very Good Idea

Carla Johnson
February 21, 2019

The Virginia Symphony (that is Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, not Richmond) has recently received a MetLife Award for Excellence in Community Engagement for its Harmony Project, a program designed to develop relationships between the Virginia Symphony and church congregations in the African-American community. In developing this program I had two guiding principles:
1) Why reinvent the wheel?
2) Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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Julie Ayer  

Segregated Musician Union Locals, 1941-1974

Julie Ayer
February 13, 2019

The first local for black musicians received its charter in Chicago in 1902. An 1896 US Supreme Court decision had established the legality of separate but equal facilities on racial grounds, setting the precedent not only for schools and other societal institutions but also for the membership of the American Federation of Musicians. Of the original fifty black American musician union locals, the majority were in the South, although most large Northern cities also established segregated locals—Boston, New Haven and Bridgeport, Connecticut, Chicago, Saint Louis, Atlantic City, and Seattle among them. In 1941, when the AFM abolished subsidiary status and granted autonomy to the locals, the black locals elected their own representatives as delegates to the national AFM convention.

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Aaron Dworkin  

In Pursuit of Diversity in Our Orchestras

Aaron Dworkin
February 8, 2019

Though I don't work for an orchestra, I think I understand one of the basic tenets by which they are run: a big audience is good, and a smaller audience is bad. Here's another basic fact: most urban centers, where our leading orchestras are located, are already majority "minority," or will be soon. So with orchestras deriving, on average, more than a third of their budgets from ticket sales, I would suggest that moving away from an audience that is largely homogeneous in terms of age and race towards one that more closely reflects the population of America should be a top financial priority for any orchestra. With more than one-third of all Americans belonging to a "minority" group, it is increasingly difficult to be successful without incorporating diversity in your overall organization.

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Nathan Kahn  

Do Outreach Skills Have A Place In The Audition Process?

Nathan Kahn
October 25, 2019

An orchestra is holding an audition for a string position, and the service requirements for the position include at least 100 services which have been traditionally termed "outreach services."

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Frank Babbitt  

Learning Through Music - From Invention to Implementation

Frank Babbitt
September 20, 2019

As a performing musician I've participated in dozens of in-school performances over the years with many different organizations all with the same purpose: bringing music and musicians into direct contact with school children. These programs were well intentioned, well performed, but largely ineffectual in terms of real lasting educational impact and without any assessment models to gauge what the students took away from it. Even if there was genuine student interest and excitement generated by the performance, there was little or no coordinated effort to follow through to deepen the students' knowledge and understanding of music.

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Kenneth Freed  

Learning Through Music - From Implementation To Improvement

Kenneth Freed
September 19, 2019

At the May, 2006 American Symphony Orchestra League conference, acclaimed opera director Peter Sellers threw down the gantlet to those of us in the symphonic music business when he publicly asked Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen what he and his orchestra were doing for African-American boys' literacy rates in Los Angeles.

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Larry Scripp  

Learning Through Music - Music's Evolving Role in Education

Larry Scripp
September 18, 2019

Learning Through Music (LTM) programs were developed at New England Conservatory as a complement to the Music-in-Education Concentration Guided Internship program. LTM is defined by its curriculum and assessment frameworks.

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Eric Bertoluzzi  

Up Close and Musical (UCAM)

Eric Bertoluzzi
August 10, 2019

Q. When did you first get the idea for UCAM?

It was the result of a bad experience at a local elementary school I had with the (former) Denver Symphony Orchestra back in the late 1980s. The school had participated in a fundraiser for the orchestra and they raised more money for the DSO than anyone else. They asked if they could bring their kids to a rehearsal. Someone penciled on the letter, "We don't let even HS kids come to a rehearsal" and sent the original letter back to the principal. Understandably, the principal was horrified. I [met with the principal] and offered to bring a group to the school and try to make it all better.

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Paul Silver  

Playing For Young Children
(Infants, Young and Older Toddlers, 4 Year Olds)

Paul Silver
August 7, 2019

There are usually four PSO musicians who work at the Cyert Center for Early Education each year... Every year I visit the school four to eight times in consecutive weeks, so the older children recognize me from my work with them in previous years... Each visit I learn more about what works and, more importantly, what is not effective. I find it very helpful to seek the input of the teachers and try to involve them in our activities. The following material includes some of what I found most useful in working with children in this age group.

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Yvonne Caruthers  

Orchestra Players as Educators: A Brief History

Yvonne Caruthers
July 27, 2019

Today's orchestras are an integral part of the communities they serve, but this was not always the case. The orchestra that Haydn knew was very different from the orchestra of today. In the late 1700s, a group of professional players only worked together regularly if a rich patron desired their services—Haydn wrote for such an ensemble. The musicians that the Prince of Esterhazy hired, including Haydn, lived with the prince at his country retreat. They performed at his pleasure on any occasion for which he desired music. The musicians were treated as talented servants.

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Gary Race  

Getting The Show On The Road, Part III: Rehearsal and Performance

Gary Race
July 26, 2019

To start, I should say "rehearsals." This will be more like putting together Penderecki than Purcell. The music is the core of your program - the single most important element. Perhaps someone in your group has experience with the theatrical rehearsal process. If not, here are some guidelines for the next phase of your work.

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Holly Hamilton  

Performing for Special-Needs Children - An Interview with Holly Hamilton, NSO Violinist

Holly Hamilton
July 18, 2019

Q: What made you get involved with special-needs kids?

I have a child with special needs so I became comfortable with that population, and I realized these kids are just like anyone else. They love music. All the special-needs kids that I know love music just as much as other kids. It doesn't matter what kind of music - all kinds. You can get them to move to music, speak to music, play on drums, dance, sing, etc.

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Bill Cahn  

The Adopt-A-Player Program Enables Toronto Symphony Orchestra Musicians to Make In-Depth Community Connections

Bill Cahn
July 18, 2019

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Adopt-A-Player program, now in its eleventh year, serves both as a vehicle for pro-active community involvement and as a forum for the professional development of the orchestra's musicians. The Toronto version of Adopt-A-Player is modeled after similar programs in England.

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Gary Race  

Getting The Show On The Road, Part II: Preparation and Scripting

Gary Race
June 26, 2019

SO, you have had a meeting or two. You have a theme or have focused your educational / musical goals for the program. Members of the group have been assigned various tasks for this session, and now you are ready to organize the material and write a script.

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Claire Speed  

On Tour with Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra: Reaching Out to Aboriginal Children

Claire Speed
June 15, 2019

Since the arrival of Pinchas Zukerman as Music Director, Canada's National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra, based in Ottawa, is touring both nationally and internationally on a regular basis.

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Douglas Burden  

Performing for Aboriginal Children: An Interview with Douglas Burden

Douglas Burden
June 15, 2019

In November 2004, we visited 13 cities and communities including Vancouver, Burnaby, Kelowna, Vernon, Terrace, Smithers, Kispiox, Nelson, Comox, and Victoria, in British Columbia.

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Gary Race  

Getting The Show On The Road, Part I: Ideas

Gary Race
April 10, 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra Education Department, part of the Kennedy Center Education Department, decided it was time to develop a larger and more varied outreach program for area schools and in-house presentations.

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Ruth Cahn  

Musicians as Educators: Reflecting on Learning Experiences

Ruth Cahn
April 10, 2019

Personal experiences are a key determinant of our present and future actions and preferences. As professional musicians, all of our previous musical experiences and accompanying skill development lead us to an ongoing engagement with particular forms of music. Indeed, many musicians indicate that the very power of these experiences led them to a career in music, almost without conscious choice! This is a very strong testament to the power of music learning in one's life.

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Yvonne Caruthers  

Symphonic Education Programs

Yvonne Caruthers
April 10, 2019

All orchestras have education departments. All orchestras engage in outreach programs. I've read about those "education departments" and "outreach programs" in the usual places: ASOL's Symphony magazine, the Int'l Musician, the ICSOM newsletter, etc. I've watched my own orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), set up several good programs that have evolved significantly in the last decade.

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Leonard Slatkin  

Where Did the Music Go?

Leonard Slatkin
April 10, 2019

When I was a young boy attempting to grow up in Los Angeles, I had the benefit of a public school education. At the time scholastic achievement was measured not just in academic terms, but in artistic ones as well. For example, my high school had three choruses, two bands, and an orchestra.

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