Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Expands Orchlab Program with MCPS
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) have signed a new agreement that will expand the BSO's Orchlab program, a mentoring initiative designed for the development of public elementary, middle and high school music students and their teachers in Montgomery County, Md. The new Memorandum of Understanding authorizes an increase in the number of eligible and participating middle and high schools as well as in the number of BSO musician services to each of these schools.
For participating elementary schools, BSO musician services will more than double in a new five-visit performance residency. The Instrumental Music Performance Residency (IMPR) will be offered to all students in the 4th or 5th grades at designated elementary schools and is designed to support instrumental music instruction. Utilizing recorders, students will rehearse and perform "Irish Fantasy" by BSO bassist Jonathan Jensen. The residency will foster the role of an individual in achieving a satisfying and successful group outcome. The elementary school residency will be directed by a trio of BSO double reed musicians, who will incorporate work on fingerings, rhythm, intonation and breath control with students. The last visit will conclude with a public performance by the students and the BSO wind trio.
At the designated middle and high schools, BSO musicians will make up to 54 separate visits during which they will mentor student string orchestra and band units with the aim of enhancing group cohesion and performance skills. Utilizing music selected by the music instructor, the BSO musicians will offer side-by-side coaching on key aspects of ensemble performance including balance, dynamics, and on-stage presence.
In addition to school visits, the participating middle and high school students in the Orchlab program will also be offered complimentary tickets to attend a BSO concert at Strathmore. Transportation to and from the Music Center will be provided by MCPS. Orchlab will provide professional development for MCPS instrumental music teachers through their participation in forums with BSO musicians.
Orchlab is offered at no cost to the schools, students or their families. The program is funded by the BSO and by individual, corporate, and foundation grants.