During the thirteen years I have conducted professionally I have collected a treasure trove of musical memories. While it is impossible for me to pinpoint a specific performance as the most exciting or emotionally uplifting, I do know with great certainty which concerts have been the most important. I have led educational concerts for tens of thousands of students with orchestras all across the United States and have seen firsthand the benefits of introducing classical music to children at a young age. The benefits of studying an instrument early in life are already well documented, enhancing other areas of study and boosting test scores. Music also relates to other areas of curriculum that students study in their classrooms every day, including math, science, and English language skills.
Last season, the Butler County Symphony performed for thousands of Butler elementary students, taking our musicians directly into the schools and performing for children at no cost to the school district. These concerts, developed with the assistance of curriculum specialists and music educators to align with Pennsylvania and Common Core Learning Standards, were a great success. Developing active listening skills, which is important in learning any subject but especially reading, is a key concept of these concerts. Young children especially benefit from the effects of music on spatial-temporal, mathematic, and language development.
Our program this season, entitled Tall Tales and Long Tails, features a connection between English language arts and music. Authors and composers are both storytellers and make important choices in order to create their tale. Both must decide what happens at the beginning, middle, and end of their story, but whereas an author uses words, a composer uses notes. To help explore some of these choices authors and composers make, the BCSO will perform a work which has introduced the instruments of the orchestra and delighted young listeners for generations: Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. While listening to this masterpiece, students will help create word banks to describe the story that Prokofiev unfolds with both words and music.
In November 2015 the Butler County Symphony will expand its educational outreach to include the Butler, Mars, Slippery Rock, and Karns City school districts. Your support will ensure our continued success in introducing classical music to school children throughout our county.
With sincerest gratitude,
Music Director and Conductor
Butler County Symphony Orchestra
- Robert Rectenwald
- carol tillotson
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