Orion Ensemble to Launch JANET'S STAGE Partnership with Local Schools
The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, is stepping up its commitment to making chamber music more accessible through a new program: "Janet's Stage," an in-depth partnership debuting in September with high schools in Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles.
Janet's Stage is a one-of-a-kind collaboration with the orchestra departments at each partner school, with the Orion musicians-clarinetist and executive director Kathy Pirtle, violinist Florentina Ramniceanu, pianist Diana Schmück and cellist Judy Stone-providing multifaceted, year-long student support. The program offers practical, individualized learning through master classes and chamber music coaching, performances for students and parents at each school, invitations to attend Orion concerts and the opportunity for student ensembles to perform on the Orion concert stage.
Music directors participating in Janet's Stage shared: "These students would not otherwise have the chance to work side by side with such quality artists or view a world-class performance. ...We are really excited and appreciative. ...School budgets would never permit this opportunity, which will be life-changing to many."
Orion has created Janet's Stage to celebrate the life, special leadership and service of longtime former Board Chair Janet Safanda, who passed away in 2012. "Our wish is that the multi-year high-impact program will pay tribute to the ways Janet's special signature has been written on the Ensemble's development and vision," said Pirtle. "We are grateful for the significant funding from individual donors in the Fox Valley and are hoping to secure more funding from the community at large to continue and expand this initiative."
Orion's 21st season, "Musical Travels," features four concert programs, each at three venues covering Geneva/St. Charles, downtown Chicago and Evanston. The season began earlier this month with "Celebrating Brahms" and continues with "Danube Destinations" in October and November, "Sounds of Russia" in March and "Czech and American Romance" in May and June. For information, visit orionensemble.org.
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