10,000+ NYC Students to Participate in Interactive Link Up Concerts at Carnegie Hall

The six concerts will take place on Tuesday, May 23, Wednesday, May 24, and Thursday, May 25 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

By: May. 02, 2023
10,000+ NYC Students to Participate in Interactive Link Up Concerts at Carnegie Hall
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For 38 seasons, Carnegie Hall's Link Up music education program for students in grades 3-5 has facilitated deeper connections between the concert hall and the classroom through an instrument-focused curriculum that culminates with students performing with a professional orchestra from their seats, often marking the first time many students will have set foot in a concert hall. The nearly 10,500 New York City-area students who have taken part in this program in their classroom over the last school year will travel to Carnegie Hall to take part in one of six concerts in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Tuesday, May 23, Wednesday, May 24, and Thursday, May 25 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. This is the first time that live Link Up concerts have been able to take place at Carnegie Hall since 2019, due to the pandemic.

"It is so exciting to be able to welcome thousands of children for Link Up concerts this month in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage," said Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. "Welcoming back teachers and students this season to Carnegie Hall has been incredibly joyful, and it will be beautiful to see the historic auditorium animated by children. Getting to perform alongside a professional orchestra, after building musical skills and fundamentals in classrooms all year, is a thrilling and formative experience for kids. These concerts are particularly meaningful to us, as we haven't been able to bring Link Up students to the Hall since 2019."

The theme of this year's concerts is Link Up: The Orchestra Moves-an interactive program developed by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute that explores how composers use the orchestra to create musical movement as well as the connections between music and physical movement. Throughout the school year, students analyze and interpret how music moves through meter, melodic patterns, and expressive qualities in their classrooms. At the end of the year, they put their knowledge into practice during the culminating performances of The Orchestra Moves at Carnegie Hall.

The concert program, hosted by 14-year-old Broadway actress Emiko Dunn, features Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conducting the Link Up Orchestra, which includes current fellows and alums of Ensemble Connect and Carnegie Hall's national youth ensembles, as well as other dynamic performers and music educators including Kelly Hall-Tompkins (Fiddler on the Roof), Bryan Hernandez-Luch (Sweeney Todd) and Edward W. Hardy (The Woodsman), all of whom reflect the vibrant makeup of New York City. The program also welcomes elementary school students from PS 10 K, PS 532 K, and Success Academy Flatbush in Brooklyn to perform onstage as part of the orchestra. The Orchestra Moves highlights works by four female composers, Tali Rubenstein, Dai Wei, Tanyaradzwa A. Tawengwa, and Elena Kats-Chernin, connecting to Carnegie Hall's season-long Women in Music focus. The concert will also feature music by Beethoven, Strauss, and others, and explore music from around the world. To experience Link Up in action, view this video.

The longest-running education program of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute (WMI), Link Up provides an opportunity for its participants to join the orchestra by teaching them to sing and play an instrument in the classroom. In addition to students in New York, young people across the country and around the world are also taking part in Link Up. Partner orchestras can utilize any of the program materials created by Carnegie Hall-including teacher guides, student materials, concert scripts, and concert visuals-for free as they work with schools in their own communities. Link Up welcomes 17 new partners this year from across the United States, including a new international partner in the Dominican Republic. From May 24-25, the Link Up National Convening will bring together prospective and new partners. A number of partners will be featured in a panel discussion on May 25, prior to attending the live Link Up concerts.

The Link Up programs are now comprised of four distinctive, year-long curricula: The Orchestra Moves (exploring movement within music), The Orchestra Sings (exploring melody), The Orchestra Rocks (exploring rhythm), and The Orchestra Swings (exploring the intersection of classical music and jazz). Link Up materials are designed for use in classrooms throughout the school year, helping students prepare to take part in a culminating concert by their local orchestra at which they sing, play the recorder, or play the violin with the orchestra from their seats.

Link Up curricula and program materials are now being shared at no cost with more than 100 orchestras across the country from Alaska to Florida, as well as in Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, and Spain, serving more than 300,000 students and teachers around the world. As expansion continues, the program's materials have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese.

The following national and international Link Up partners are new this season:

Anchorage Symphony Orchestra (AK)
Aiken Civic Orchestra (SC)
Greater Miami Youth Symphony (FL)
Harmony Project (CA)
Las Cruces Symphony (NM)
Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra (NE)
Montgomery Symphony Orchestra (AL)
New England Conservatory of Music (MA)
Orchestra Indiana (IN)
Orchestra Iowa (IA)
Orchestra Lumos (CT)
Orquesta Filarmónica Ciudad Santa María (Dominican Republic)
Quad City Symphony Orchestra (IL)
San Antonio Philharmonic (TX)
Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra (WI)
Texas Tech University Orchestra (TX)
Villa Musica (CA)

For more information about Link Up, and to see a full list of national and international Link Up partners during the 2022-2023 season, please click here.

Program Information

Tuesday, May 23 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday, May 24 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
Thursday, May 25 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage


Link Up Orchestra
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, Conductor
Emiko Dunn, Host

Shanna Lesniak-Whitney, Vocals
Chisom Maduakor, Vocals
Tanyaradzwa A. Tawengwa, Vocals
Olivia Vadnais, Vocals
Tali Rubinstein, Recorder

Kanukai Chigamba, Dancer
Joshua Dawson, Dancer
Mason Merritt, Dancer
Charlie Ray, Dancer
Aaliyah Zolina, Dancer
Dominic Villalpando , Dancer
Nation Beat Batucada, Samba Band
Students from PS 10 K, PS 532 K, Success Academy Flatbush
Honor Blue Savage, Understudy

Melissa Rae Mahon, Director
Dan Scully, Video and Projection Designer
Stacey Boggs, Lighting Designer
Q Le, Costume Designer

Ludwig van Beethoven Allegro con brio from Symphony No. 5
Thomas Cabaniss "Come to Play"
Johann Strauss (ii) The Blue Danube
DAI WEI "The Dancing Moonlight"*
ELENA KATS-CHERNIN "Knitting Nettles" from Wild Swans Suite
ANDRE FILHO "Cidade Maravilhosa"

*Arrangement commissioned by Carnegie Hall

About Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute

Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall's commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall's mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world's greatest artists, WMI's programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow's musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people's lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall's concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music.

More than 800,000 people each year engage in WMI's programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. This includes more than 155 orchestras, music presenters, and education organizations in 40 U.S. states as well as internationally in 15 countries on 6 continents. WMI's hands-on programs tap into the creativity of audiences of all ages, inviting them to make their own music in all genres, express their viewpoints, and raise their voices. WMI shares an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, families, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. As a leader in music education, WMI generates new knowledge through original research, which inform Carnegie Hall's own programs and are also available as a resource to artists, organizations, and peers.

For more information, please visit: carnegiehall.org/education


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