By Sara Munro
“I originally thought that I was going to be really bored, irritated, and that I wouldn’t like the performance at all. But when I heard the people perform, it was like the opposite. The performance was AMAZING!!!!” ~ Tuttle Middle School Student
We thank our new friend at Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington for her honesty about attending a recent VSO Green Room Program. She went on to express her desire to see the full orchestra play again, which makes us very proud. With any luck, this is the beginning of a lifelong relationship with orchestral music…and the VSO has a new family member!
This young woman was one of over 20,000 students from 131 schools who experienced a live SymphonyKids performance last season. Seven different Musicians-in-the-Schools ensembles tour throughout Vermont during the school year to engage elementary age students with lively, curriculum-based performances. These concerts include demonstration of instruments, a wide sampling of repertoire, audience participation, and a certain amount of zany humor. In addition, VSO offers Ear Buds for pre-schoolers, a Musical Petting Zoo for younger grades, and the Green Room Program for middle and high schoolers.
Through the Green Room Program, students have the opportunity to connect with musicians on a personal level to further demystify classical music. Students discover that musicians are “real people” who are funny, who work hard, and who love their careers in the arts. They are more open to a new musical experience after getting some insider knowledge about the life of a professional musician. As another student noted,
“One of my favorite parts of the night was when we got to eat dinner next to a person from the orchestra and just talk to them. It was really interesting to hear what it is like to perform, what they did before the VSO, and how many steps they had to take before they got here.”
SymphonyKids is an essential component of the VSO’s mission to serve the State of Vermont. We want children to develop a lifelong appreciation of music from the very start of their school days. It can easily begin with the spark of delight from an in-school performance by one of our Musicians-in-the-Schools ensembles. The musicians in these groups, representing every section of the orchestra, possess a strong understanding of educational techniques and a great sense of humor. Each performance is designed to share information about the instruments and a broad range of musical styles through performance, discussion, and fun interactions.
Bring SymphonyKids to Your Community
If you would like more information about SymphonyKids, or are interested in a program for your school, contact our education staff: (802) 864-5741, ext. 14.
In many cases, funding from generous local donors ensures that cost is not a barrier to bringing the VSO into a community. Please contact our philanthropy staff to learn more about making a gift: (802) 864-5741, ext. 25.