Canton Symphony Orchestra Presents SymphonyLand Series, 1/15, 1/18

While the Common Core curriculum topic continues to be a hot debate around the country, the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) believes there's little to be discussed when it comes to including arts in an educational setting: they know arts education works.

"There's little debate out there. No one argues that arts are critical in educating our youth. The challenge is simply funding arts education in the midst of declining public school budgets," stated Gail Martino, CSO's Education Committee chairperson. "Every piece of research we come across points to greater achievement in the classroom - and in life - when arts are included."

The CSO, with help from the Hoover Foundation, continues its commitment to provide several arts education options. One of them, the SymphonyLand Series for children ages 3 to 6, resumes its 4530-minute educational programs on January 15 and 18. This season's SymphonyLand programs use three of the Karma Wilson/Jane Chapman "Bear" book series. The January concert will pair a string trio with Bear Feels Sick.

"What makes these arts education sessions so amazing is that our musicians educate the kids how instruments make sounds, then how those sounds make music, and then how the instruments work together to make a song. And they do it in the context of books with which the kids are likely to be familiar. The kids love the subject matter and interactivity," said Michelle Mullaly, Executive Director.

While each performance is unique, common music and academic concepts will be presented at each session. The educational concepts developed address Ohio's New Learning Standards in Music, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. The February 5 and 8 sessions will feature a woodwind trio with Bear's Loose Tooth. The March 26 and 29 sessions will feature a brass trio with Bear Wants More.

Performances are open to the public in addition to preschools, public schools, and homeschool groups. There are two performances each day at 10am and 11am.

The final programs (April 9 at 9:30am and 10:30am) bring all of the instrument families together at the Kinder Concert. This performance allows children to see each instrument section come together to create a symphony orchestra.

The entire SymphonyLand series is only $15 per person (series tickets include 1 performance of each trio plus the Kinder Concert) or $5 per performance. The SymphonyLand package or individual tickets are available online, by calling 330-452-2094, at the box office window located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts (weekdays 10am-2pm), or by walk-up. Dress is casual and concerts are appropriate for ages 3 to 6 years.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (at McKinley High School across from C.T. Branin Natatorium). Parking at McKinley High School is free. For more information, please

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