NC Symphony Continues to Carry Out Music Education Mission Through Virtual Content

North Carolina Symphony Concert

Raleigh, NC – During this uncertain time, the North Carolina Symphony’s music education mission remains constant—and students need access to the arts now more than ever. To that end, NCS has released a digital broadcast of a North Carolina Symphony Education Concert and its companion materials, to support teachers who are engaging their students virtually and parents who are continuing their children’s education at home. The online content is available free of charge for students, teachers, parents, and audiences of all ages to access and enjoy across North Carolina and worldwide.

These materials may be accessed at ncsymphony.org/virtual with password 1932.

The video stars the Symphony’s professional musicians and Music Director Grant Llewellyn performing music by Beethoven, Brahms, William Grant Still, and more. Along the way, Associate Conductor Wesley Schulz takes students on a journey to learn “What Makes Music, Music,” exploring fundamentals such as melody, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and texture. Schulz guides students on how to actively listen and participate as they watch the orchestra perform. 

An accompanying Student Book coordinates with the music and topics covered in the Education Concert. The book introduces each composer, and shares fun facts about their life and their music.

These materials were developed by the North Carolina Symphony in close partnership with our state’s music educators. The concepts taught in the video and in the Student Book align with the state curriculum for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction—and, NCS invites anyone and everyone to watch, listen, learn, and enjoy.

Each year, our Education Concert is created in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and is made possible by a generous grant-in-aid from the State of North Carolina, the Honorable Roy Cooper, Governor; the Honorable Susi H. Hamilton, Secretary for Natural and Cultural Resources. The Symphony is deeply grateful to the corporations, foundation, and individuals who generously support our education program, as well as to our school system supporters.

NCS also expects to share lesson plans from the Education Concert’s coordinating Teacher Workbook. These creative lesson plans—originally used by teachers in a classroom setting to prepare students for the Education Concert—will be modified for individual, at-home instruction, allowing parents at home or teachers virtually to help students explore musical topics in further depth.

The Symphony is grateful for the capability to continue serving and connecting with its audiences through virtual resources during this challenging time. NCS is honored to support parents and teachers in carrying forward the education of our youth—and aims to provide children and adults alike with comfort and inspiration through music.

About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina’s cultural life. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony’s 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events are enjoyed by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties—in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony’s full-time professional musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.

NCS’s state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony’s service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world’s greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina.

Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads the most extensive education program of any symphony orchestra—serving nearly 70,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.

NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has presented 56 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras—an honor that recognized the Symphony’s creative programming and innovative community partnerships.

The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. To learn more, visit ncsymphony.org.

Submitted by: Meredith Kimball Laing, Director of Communications, North Carolina Symphony

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