More than 1,000 elementary and middle-school students from throughout the Golden Triangle participated recently in "The Orchestra Moves," a program that gave young people an opportunity to sing and play musical instruments along with the MSU Philharmonia.
One of three Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute Link Up curricula, the class held at First Baptist Church in Starkville provided second through sixth-grade students with a recorder or string instrument to play from their seats as 60 Philharmonia members performed in collaboration.
Richard Human, associate professor of low brass and MSU Philharmonia conductor, said area students had been learning about orchestral music, instrument families, music composers and eight pieces of music since October.
"I had visited our participating schools throughout the year and heard great music making," he said.
Schools involved were Armstrong Middle, Henderson Ward Stewart Intermediate, Starkville Homeschool Musical Cooperative and Sudduth Elementary in Starkville, and Fairview Elementary and Sales Elementary and Suzuki Music in Columbus.
The MSU Philharmonia was one of 58 international orchestras selected to perform a Link Up Concert, Human said.
He explained that he viewed the Link Up program as a way for the MSU Philharmonia to "expand its engagement with elementary, general music and string music education in the region.
"I saw this as a worthwhile musical challenge for us, both as a performance ensemble and an organization seeking to define its educational mission. We play and teach, so finding our place for both is the focus," he said.
"We were able to put recorders in the students' hands at no cost to them or their schools," he continued, adding that "the orchestra has grown in many ways by tackling the substantial repertoire and building partnerships with prestigious organizations like the Mississippi Arts Commission, Carnegie Hall and the Weill Institute."
More on the Carnegie Hall Link Up programs is available at http://www.carnegiehall.org/Education/Link-Up/.
To learn more about the MSU Philharmonia, visit www.msuphilharmonia.org.
See www.msstate.edu to discover more about Mississippi State University.