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BSO Announces First-Ever Youth and Family Concert Streams on BSO NOW

On March 5, at noon, the BSO will release its first-ever online BSO Youth Concert stream, newly recorded for the BSO NOW online concert platform.

BSO Announces First-Ever Youth and Family Concert Streams on BSO NOW

During the period of live performance hiatus since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra continues to present its annual Youth and Family Concerts, offering free and discounted ticket programs to first-ever online performance streams launching in March and April on BSO NOW, the orchestra's new digital concert platform at www.bso.org/now.

In addition, the BSO is pleased to announce a formal partnership with Boston Public Schools, expanding upon a decades-long collaboration that has focused on providing free access to BSO Youth Concerts for the public school students of Boston. With the release of the new video series Meet the Instruments with the BSO, the BSO begins a new chapter with BPS-one that will offer students and BSO musicians opportunities that will bring the two iconic Boston institutions into closer relationship. Over the coming months, BSO musicians will further expand their teaching activities by participating in masterclasses and other online teaching videos associated with BEAM (Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music) and MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association).

While this year it is not possible for students to attend concerts or masterclasses in person, the virtual release of these online programs will make it possible for the orchestra to reach more people than could possibly be accommodated in the traditional setting of Symphony Hall.

Quote from Thomas Wilkins BSO's Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement and Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor:

"I can't imagine a more important time for people of all ages to immerse themselves in music and learning and take a much-needed break from the many challenges of our time. We hope our first-ever Youth and Family concert streams will provide inspiration, insights, and much joy to our many fans young and old, near and far. We are also incredibly happy to build a closer relationship with the students of the Boston Public Schools through an expansion of our longtime partnership with our sister Boston institution. We are determined to connect with students of all musical interests-from appreciative new listeners, to budding young musicians, to more advanced students participating in such wonderful programs as BEAM and MICCA, where individual BSO musicians teach and interact with many talented young musicians throughout Massachusetts and New England. We are so thrilled to welcome each and every one to the BSO family!"

On March 5, at noon, the BSO will release its first-ever online BSO Youth Concert stream, newly recorded for the BSO NOW online concert platform at www.bso.org/now. The BSO's Thomas Wilkins-celebrated for his ability to communicate about music and its power with audiences of all ages-leads the program I Really Thought I Couldn't: A Musical Look at Self-Doubt, relating this theme to special musical selections by Beethoven, Dvořák, Prokofiev, Schuman, Still, Tchaikovsky, and Vaughan Williams.

Traditionally free to students of the Boston Public Schools, the BSO Youth Concert stream will also be made available free-of-charge to the students of the Berkshire County Schools. In recognition of the difficult year educators and students throughout the country are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, other school systems can access the stream through a pick-your-price model, with a suggested fee of $20 per classroom or $100 per school; access is available through www.bso.org/YouthConcertTickets or by calling SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200. Please note, this concert is sold separately from the BSO NOW access given in recognition of donations of $100 or more.

Supplementary materials-designed for use in a range of educational settings, including remote, in person, or hybrid, to help educators introduce their students to the repertoire and engage them with the orchestra-are available online at www.bso.org/YouthConcert2021.

To kick off the partnership between the Boston Symphony and Boston Public Schools, the BSO has created Meet the Instruments with the BSO, a series of nine videos in which BSO musicians demonstrate their instruments and share tips and insights, available for viewing at www.bso.org/YouthConcert2021. Launching in conjunction with the delivery of new student instruments to East Boston schools-obtained through a gift made possible by StubHub's multi-year partnership with Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation-these videos were designed, in part, to help BPS students familiarize themselves with orchestral instruments as they decide which instruments they want to learn. The BSO musicians featured in Meet the Instruments with the BSO are Clint Foreman, flute; Robert Sheena, oboe and English horn; Thomas Martin, clarinet; Suzanne Nelsen, bassoon; Michael Winter, horn; Benjamin Wright, trumpet; Stephen Lange, trombone; Mike Roylance, tuba; and Matthew McKay, percussion. "The legacy partnership between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Public Schools represents a unique investment in our young musicians that is rarely found in the United States," said BPS Executive Director for the Arts Anthony Beatrice. "From engaging Youth Concerts, artistic collaborations featuring our students performing with the BSO and Boston Pops, to helping to introduce musical instruments to students just starting their own journey of the performing arts, the BSO-BPS partnership is part of the fabric of the rich BPS arts landscape. We look forward to our future together as we leverage our partnership to meet the moment for our students."

The newly formalized BSO/BPS partnership reflects a deepening dialogue between the two institutions and an expansion upon their long, ongoing relationship. In addition to offering free BSO Youth Concert tickets for BPS students, there have been several recent collaborative programs of note. For the 2019 Holiday Pops season, BPS students sang "Let There Be Peace on Earth" in a video feature that accompanied the orchestra onstage; that video was reprised in expanded form with students' drawings for the Boston Pops 2020 Holiday Celebration. At the BSO's February 2020 Concert for Our City, students from the Josiah Quincy School gave special pre-concert performance. During the orchestra's three-year residency in Jamaica Plain (2017-2020), ensembles of BSO musicians visited schools and Thomas Wilkins conducted workshops. Also of note is the annual enrollment and participation of BPS students in the DARTS (Days in the Arts) program in the Berkshires.

On April 30 at noon, the BSO presents its first-ever streaming BSO Family Concert. An archival concert titled Music Triumphant: Light in the Midst of Darkness, the program is curated and hosted by Thomas Wilkins. Featuring inspiring performances by the BSO under several different conductors, the concert includes works by Beethoven, Brahms, Holst, and Rachmaninoff. The Music Triumphant concert stream will be available on BSO NOW for donors of $100 or more starting April 5 and will be released to the general public free of charge from May 13 through June 30.

During the next few months, the musicians of the BSO will continue to support music education through a variety of teaching programs. Beginning in February, orchestra members will work closely with the young musicians of the BSO BEAM Masters Series (Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music), which serves pre-collegiate students from programs across the country that provide sustained pathways to highly engaged musicians from communities historically underrepresented in classical music. This spring, BSO musicians will also work with over 40 school bands and orchestras across Massachusetts as part of the orchestra's partnership with MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association). With the goal of meeting the individual needs of each class or ensemble, the MICCA clinics encompass a variety of formats, from traditional masterclasses to talks on the life of a professional musician to lessons on warm-ups and breathing exercises. The BSO musicians involved in these programs are Bonnie Bewick, violin; Rachel Childers, French horn; Danny Kim, viola; Lucia Lin, violin; James Markey, trombone; Matthew McKay, percussion; Mike Roylance, tuba; Benjamin Wright, trumpet; and Owen Young, cello.


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