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Student Musicians Join Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for Special Concert Tonight

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Student musicians from the Atlanta area, including members of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) and Talent Development Program (TDP), will perform a Side-By-Side Concert with members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra tonight, June 27, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. Staff Conductor Jere Flint will lead the musicians in a program featuring the Prelude to Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 1, and selections from Stravinsky's The Firebird and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, among others.

Justin Blalock - the starting left guard for the Atlanta Falcons - has been an advocate for the ASO and its music education efforts throughout the past year, and he will perform on tuba alongside the Orchestra members and student musicians at this year's concert. Mr. Blalock, who grew up playing the tuba and continues to play the drums and guitar, recognizes the importance of music-rich educational experiences and is also a spokesperson for the Atlanta Symphony's "When I Play Music" campaign for music education (www.aso.org/blalock).

"Growing up in Texas as an athlete and musician, I discovered firsthand that playing both football and tuba helped me thrive in all areas of life. When kids play music, they are more likely to become community leaders, have more confidence, and experience a sense of achievement," said Mr. Blalock. "Music is so important, and my partnership with the Atlanta Symphony has allowed me to help ensure that music education opportunities are available to kids in the Atlanta community and beyond. It's been an incredibly rewarding experience."

The Side-By-Side Concert will mark the end of an intensive four-day orchestral workshop, which allows students to participate in special coaching sessions with Atlanta Symphony musicians, sit next to Orchestra members in rehearsals, and receive nearly 20 hours of musical instruction from Mr. Flint. Additionally, students will be paired with an Atlanta Symphony musician who will serve as their mentor throughout the entire workshop. Approximately 55 student musicians will participate in this year's Side-By-Side program.

The ASYO, which will begin its 39th season in fall 2013, is comprised of gifted young men and women, ages 13-18, from across the Southeast, and is led by Youth Orchestra Music Director Jere Flint.

Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or by calling 404-733-5000.

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