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The Columbus Symphony Invites Central Ohio To Support The 2021 COLUMBUS SYMPHONY CARES ABOUT KIDS VIRTUAL BENEFIT

Proceeds from this week-long event will directly support the CSO's ongoing music education programs

The Columbus Symphony Invites Central Ohio To Support The 2021 COLUMBUS SYMPHONY CARES ABOUT KIDS VIRTUAL BENEFIT

In lieu of its annual, in-person benefit concert, the Columbus Symphony will offer the 2021 Columbus Symphony Cares About Kids Virtual Benefit, an online, virtual program that will be available at March 8-13. Proceeds from this week-long event will directly support the CSO's ongoing music education programs that are on-track to reach nearly 40,000 central Ohio children in the 2020-21 season.

Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin will emcee the 45-minute program that will feature a remarkable presentation of J.S. Bach's Concerto for Two Violins performed by the CSO's 2020 Young Musicians Competition winner Cecilia Martin, Jack and Joan George Concertmaster Chair Joanna Frankel, and Reinberger Foundation Principal Piano Chair Caroline Hong. In addition, Music Director Rossen Milanov and the musicians of the CSO will dedicate a special performance of George Walker's Serenade for Strings to the children of central Ohio. The virtual benefit will also include testimonies from children, teachers, community members, and civic leaders that have been impacted by the CSO's education and outreach efforts.

Concurrently, all of the Columbus Symphony's full-time musicians will participate in a week of community service, donating their time and talents to provide meaningful musical experiences for more than 200 central Ohio children in grades K-12. This will include free lessons to student musicians in the Columbus City School District (grades 7-12) and Urban Strings Columbus (ages 11-18), presentations at KIPP Columbus, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, and Columbus City Schools (grades 3-8), and judging auditions for the Columbus All City Orchestra, a CSO youth orchestra designed exclusively for high school students enrolled in the Columbus City School District, among other opportunities.

"The Columbus Symphony is passionately committed to serving the children of this community, removing barriers and providing access to as many interactive, educational music experiences as possible," stated Columbus Symphony Executive Director Denise Rehg. "Our children live in a complicated and sometimes confusing world. Exposing them to music provides an opportunity for positive engagement, sparking curiosity, creativity, and joy."

The Columbus Symphony presents the 2021 Columbus Symphony Cares About Kids Virtual Benefit March 8-13 at The program is free to view and will offer donation opportunities throughout. Online donations can be made here.

How the CSO Will Serve 40,000 Central Ohio Students in 2020-21

The Columbus Symphony's strategic plan calls for the organization to double the number of children it serves annually.

Programs currently in place:

  • The CSO developed a remote music education curriculum free of charge for Columbus City Schools that is currently reaching more than 4,400 third grade students.
  • Mindful Music Moments, a daily mindfulness and classical music program that promotes student focus, has been underwritten by the CSO and made available to all Columbus City Schools and central Ohio pre-schools free of charge. Currently, 27 schools and 9 pre-schools have implemented the program, reaching more than 11,200 children.
  • In September 2020, the CSO launched two new web sites for (for grades K-6) and To date, has been viewed more than 4,700 times, and has been viewed more than 1,100 times.
  • The CSO has a long-standing commitment to youth orchestras, operating five orchestras that engage music students of all levels-Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra (grades 9-12), Cadet Orchestra (grades 7-10), Chamber Strings (grades 6-9), Junior Strings (grades 3-6), and Columbus All City Orchestra (grades 9-12). In the 2020-21 season, approximately 273 student musicians are participating.
  • In partnership with the Cincinnati Youth Orchestra and Atlanta Youth Orchestra for the 2020-21 season, the Columbus Symphony offers a weekly, 45-minute Zoom session for music students that cover a wide variety of music-related topics. Curated by each orchestra in turn, sessions have covered subjects such as practice strategies, history of the orchestra, and an introduction to conducting. To date, the partnership has hosted more than 20 sessions, reaching approximately 500 students.
  • In the 2020-21 season, the CSO has performed several free, family-friendly concerts presented as socially distanced, in-person events, virtual offerings, or both. These include 20 outdoor, community concerts at a variety of locations throughout central Ohio, the Halloween Spooktacular online concert, and The Columbus Symphony Holiday Spectacular which was broadcast on two local TV affiliates and reached more than 36,000 households.
  • All 38 full-time musicians have taken an integral role in providing small group Zoom lessons to the 273 student musicians participating in the Columbus Symphony's youth orchestras during the winter months, promoting continued learning when in-person rehearsals are not possible.
  • Launched in 2018, the Columbus Symphony Cares initiative partners with central Ohio social service organizations and schools to support their missions through meaningful and customized music education programming for their participants. Programming can include such events as ensemble performances, instrument "petting zoos," or career day presentations. To date in the 2020-21 season, the CSO has hosted 18 events impacting 75 children.

Pending funding, the Columbus Symphony intends to expand its service to children in the 2021-22 season.

The Columbus Symphony will provide free tickets to all Title 1 elementary schools in central Ohio to attend its yearly Young People's Concerts. The CSO will also endeavor to pay for bus transportation to and from the concert when it is a barrier to attendance.

When appropriate, the Columbus Symphony will expand the number of in-school concerts it performs each season free of charge to schools.

Children aged 6-16 will receive free admission to all 2021-22 Masterworks concerts.

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