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Princeton Symphony Orchestra Presents Virtual Gallery Showcasing Students' Creativity

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Princeton Symphony Orchestra Presents Virtual Gallery Showcasing Students' Creativity

Area student artists and writers participating in the Princeton Symphony Orchestra's (PSO) 2019-2020 PSO BRAVO! Listen Up! program created an array of visual art and writings in response to composer Saad Haddad's Clarinet Concerto, a new work co-commissioned by the PSO with the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. The work received its world premiere at the PSO's January 18-19 Scheherazade concerts and featured soloist Kinan Azmeh, to whom the work was dedicated. The results and range of responses to the music are stunning, with colorful works in a variety of media and thoughtfully worded poetry and prose. Viewing the works is possible with a few clicks through the PSO's new online gallery which offers a virtual walk-thru experience.

The students attended a creativity workshop led by the Arts Council of Princeton instructor Susan Hoenig and the live performances of Haddad's work by the orchestra under the direction of Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov. At the workshop, Susan Hoenig highlighted well-known visual artists who created works in response to music, and guided the students in the process of artistic reflection. The composer provided the students with some background on the creation of his concerto, and PSO's Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov talked about bringing a new work to life with a live orchestral performance.

Over the course of several weeks, the students gave form to their own creative ideas in writing and visual art. Rather than holding a formal gallery exhibition in Princeton as in previous seasons, the orchestra has constructed an online virtual exhibition of the students' work for all to view through the PSO's "At Home with the PSO" website tab at Visitors to the exhibition can click on virtual speakers to hear Saad Haddad's Clarinet Concerto and find out more about the exhibited works by clicking on each image. It's a deeply immersive experience.

35 students from seven middle schools make up this season's Listen Up! artists and writers:

The Cambridge School - Isabella Guerrero, Lydia Keenan, Sam Lorenz, Madison Reynolds, Molli Semel; Christina Seix Academy - Shawn Bullock, Keren Cruz, Serenity Davis, Peyton Minor, Vanessa Samayoa; John Witherspoon Middle School - Leala Mauzerall, Finn Neuneier, Tyler Olmstead; Montgomery Upper Middle School - Kiyana Kamikura, Minhee Lee, Grace Li, Katelyn Wang; Ranney School - Alexander Holt, Krishna Khetani, Sophia Lennon, Kevin Mortenson, Parsvi Shah, Seth Tolchin, John Welch, Lucas Yanney; St. Paul School of Princeton - Saanvi Bhaskar, Derek Harrison, Emeli Hernandez, Jeffrey Merendino, Brooke Truslow; Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart - Cecelia Embleton, Loukya Pakalapati, Rebecca Streeter, Sophie Yang, Selina Zhang.

Now in its thirteenth year, Listen Up! is an art response program which encourages creativity through active listening. To date, it has engaged over 325 students. Online galleries featuring previous years' student artwork can be accessed via our website at:

All PSO BRAVO! programs are free to participating students and schools thanks to the support of generous sponsors who believe in the importance of the arts in education. To learn more about Listen Up! or other PSO BRAVO! education programs or to offer support, call the symphony office at (609) 497-0020.

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