Interactive: North Carolina Symphony Blog
The North Carolina Symphony is taking live instrumental music into classrooms in five western North Carolina counties this week as part of its holiday touring schedule. A string quartet and a wind quintet make up the Symphony’s Ensembles in the Schools program.
The three-day tour includes sixteen 30-minute concerts for elementary students in Avery, Catawba, McDowell, Mitchell and Rutherford counties. In contrast to a full orchestra, a chamber ensemble can work right in the classroom, where students often sit on the floor beside performers, and are invited to participate in the performance.
The string quartet’s featured works include Rossini’s Overture to William Tell and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and ends with an instrument “zoo,” where the four musicians instruct young audience members on how to make their first sounds on real string instruments. The wind quintet’s program takes a cross-disciplinary approach with an exciting arrangement of Prokofiev’s depiction of the well-known Russian folktale “Peter and the Wolf,” complete with live narration.
As NCS Director of Education Jessica Nalbone says, “We love opportunities to expand our reach in schools as we travel around the state. We recognize that for many students, this may be the first time they see a cello or a French horn up close, so we aim to leave a lasting impression.”
Ensembles in the Schools is supported in part by Progress Energy, BB&T and the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.