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Carnegie Hall's 'Link Up' Program Expands Worldwide; Concerts Set for NYC This May

For over 30 years, Link Up-a hands-on curriculum that invites students in grades 3 to 5 to make and explore music-has culminated in springtime, interactive children's concerts for thousands of New York City students who are invited to come together at Carnegie Hall. More recently, Carnegie Hall has also provided this program free-of-charge to over 80 orchestra partners across the United States and abroad, reaching many more thousands of children who join together to make music in their own communities. The Link Up curriculum and concert program was developed by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.

During the 2015-2016 season, approximately 15,000 New York City students and teachers are participating in The Orchestra Rocks, which explores rhythm and timing through a range of orchestral repertoire. Six culminating concerts at Carnegie Hall on May 23, 24, and 27 feature engaging interactive performances of music by Verdi, Stravinsky, and Holst by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, conducted by Rossen Milanov, and hosted by composer Thomas Cabaniss. Joining the orchestra on stage is violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), who performs the "Tribe" movement from his Voodoo Violin Concerto No. 1, an eclectic work combining a mix of styles and sounds, including blues, jazz, hip-hop, and classical.

In addition to these May performances in New York City, Link Up curricula and program materials are now being shared for free with 82 orchestras across the country from Alaska to Florida, as well as in Canada, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and Kenya, serving approximately 350,000 students and teachers around the world.

With materials created by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, Link Up pairs orchestras with students at schools in their local communities to explore orchestral repertoire and fundamental musical skills, including creative work and composition, through a highly participatory music curriculum. The curricula is composed of three distinctive, year-long program guides: The Orchestra Moves (exploring movement within music), The Orchestra Sings (exploring melody), and The Orchestra Rocks (exploring rhythm). Next season, Link Up premieres a new, fourth curriculum, The Orchestra Swings, which brings a jazz ensemble together with the orchestra to explore the many ways that music can swing through elements of rhythm, form, improvisation, and communication. 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.

As expansion continues-Link Up will be presented by over 90 orchestras next season-the program's materials have been translated into several languages including Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese. For its first season of Link Up, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra has incorporated a piece by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos into The Orchestra Moves curriculum. Kenya also participates in its first Link Up season with The Orchestra Moves featuring a concert facilitated by the Art of Music Foundation, while Orquesta Filharmónica de Boca Del Río in Mexico partners with Link Up for The Orchestra Rocks in Spanish.

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

Amarillo Symphony, TX
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, MI
Art of Music Foundation, Kenya
Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Brazil
Charleston Symphony Orchestra, SC
Honeywell Center, IN
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, IN
Juneau Symphony, AK
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, OK
Orquesta Filharmonica de Boca Del Rio, Mexico
Regina Symphony Orchestra, SK
Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, NV
Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, FL
Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, OK
Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, VT
Walla Walla Symphony, WA

For a full list of National Link Up partners during the 2015-2016 season, click here.

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. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. Nearly 500,000 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.

Program Information:

Monday, May 23 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
Tuesday, May 24 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
Friday, May 27 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage


Orchestra of St. Luke's
Rossen Milanov, Conductor
Thomas Cabaniss, Host
Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Vocalist
Christian Figueroa, Vocalist
Shanna Lesniak-Whitney, Vocalist
Daniel Bernard Roumain, Violin
Elinha Karokhin, Balalaika
Black Fire Percussion, Drumline
Edward R. Murrow High School Chorus
Fort Hamilton High School Chorus
Forest Hills High School Chorus
Susan Fenichell, Director
Dan Scully, Visuals Designer
Mary Louise Geiger, Lighting Designer
Townsend Olcott, Production Stage Manager

VERDI "Anvil Chorus" from Il trovatore
STRAVINSKY "Dance of the Adolescents" from The Rite of Spring
RUSSIAN TRADITIONAL "In the Field Stood a Birch Tree" ("Vo Pole Beryioza Stoyala")
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4, fourth movement
ORFF "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana
HOLST "Mars" from The Planets
DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN Voodoo Violin Concerto No. 1

Photo Credit: Jennifer Taylor

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