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Striking a Chord

And the answer is: The North Carolina Symphony.  That way, the next time you go on Jeopardy, you can step up to the buzzer on the question, “What has the most extensive music education program of any major U.S. orchestra?”   In fact, if you talk to anyone who grew up in North Carolina, you’ll hear of a deeply felt connection to the orchestra and its mission of music education.

This week, the orchestra is performing a number of education concerts for elementary school students in Raleigh and Salisbury. When we posted about the concerts on our Facebook page, we got quite a response from folks who have vivid and cherished memories of their own first experience with the North Carolina Symphony.

We’re sharing some of these first-time memories here, and encourage you to share your memories in the comments section of this blog.

Catherine B. - I remember I had trouble prying myself from the seat after the final note had faded away. What an ethereal web of magic! Snared then and ever since!!

James L. - First time I heard the NCSO was in 1970 in a children's concert in Greensboro. I liked it so much that I joined them eleven years later.

Phyllis O. - In elementary school, (at the) Clinton, NC, high school auditorium, holding the instruments we made to play along with Maestro Swalin's direction. Mrs. Swalin demonstrated the celesta: spellbound! Still have my educational program(s) used when we prepared, with Pogo. As a NC music teacher, it was thrilling to prepare and take students to these concerts!

Rick P. - Mine was at Charles L. Coon Jr. High school in Wilson in 1963. I sat on the front row and was amazed. The first time I heard "The Typewriter by Leroy Anderson," Dr. Benjamin Swalin was the conductor. Afterwards I told him I wanted to go into music and be a Conductor. He said "to be a conductor you must have a baton". He gave me his that day and I still have it. I used it in college as a voice major and on other occasions. Currently I sing with the North Carolina Baptist Singers and Orchestra and will travel in a few weeks to Carnegie Hall to perform with other musicians and composers from North Carolina. One never knows the influence music can have on a young mind! THANK YOU NORTH CAROLINA SYMPHONY FOR SHARING WITH OUR CHILDREN!

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