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Educational ensemble: BSO forms partnership with BPS

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Educational ensemble: BSO forms partnership with BPS
Mark McEwan plays the Oboe with new friend. PHOTO: Hilary Scott

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has launched several new initiatives to make youth and family concerts more accessible to Boston Public Schools and the general public. In the coming weeks, the BSO will roll out a newly recorded youth concert, available for free to Boston Public Schools and Berkshire County Public Schools, an archive of streamable youth concerts free and accessible to the public, and a package of supplementary materials for teaching.

BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins teaches a young student. PHOTO: Hilary Scott

BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins teaches a young student. PHOTO: Hilary Scott

“I can’t imagine a more important time for people of all ages to immerse themselves in music and learning and take a much-needed break from the many challenges of our time,” says Youth and Family Concerts Conductor Thomas Wilkins. “We hope our first-ever Youth and Family concert streams will provide inspiration, insights and much joy to our many fans young and old, near and far.”

These programs mark the beginning of the formal collaboration between BSO and Boston Public Schools. BSO musicians will provide teaching activities, such as their video series “Meet the Instruments with the BSO,” master classes and teaching videos associated with BEAM (Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music) and MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association). These programs will join the continued free access to streaming concerts.

BSO Youth and Family Conductor Thomas Wilkins leads the BSO Family concert with guest student cellist Sasha Scolnik-Brower. PHOTO: Courtesy of BSO

BSO Youth and Family Conductor Thomas Wilkins leads the BSO Family concert with guest student cellist Sasha Scolnik-Brower. PHOTO: Courtesy of BSO

On March 5, the BSO’s youth concert to be streamed online will debut, free to BPS classrooms and accessible to the public with a donation. The concert, titled “I Really Thought I Couldn’t: A Musical Look at Self-Doubt,” relates the theme of self-doubt and confidence to special musical selections by Beethoven, Dvorák, Prokofiev, Schumann, Still, Tchaikovsky and Vaughan Williams. Supplementary materials aimed at connecting students with classical music in educational settings will also be available; these include a lesson on Black composer William Grant Still, whose piece “Symphony No. 1 ‘Afro-American’: Second movement (Sorrow)” is highlighted in the youth concert.

On April 30, the BSO presents its first family concert to be streamed online, “Music Triumphant: Light in the Midst of Darkness.” The concert includes works by Beethoven, Brahms, Holst, and Rachmaninoff and will be available for streaming free of charge from May 13 to June 30 for the general public. With a donation, the concert can be viewed on and after April 30.

“We are determined to connect with students of all musical interests — from appreciative new listeners, to budding young musicians, to more advanced students,” says Wilkins. “We are so thrilled to welcome each and every one to the BSO family.”

arts, BPS, BSO, music

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