St. Louis Symphony’s Adopt-a-School program immerses kids in classical music

Posted on: December 15, 2011

In Wednesday’s (12/14) St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sarah Bryan Miller writes, “The second-graders of Airport Elementary School are ready for their close-up. All fall, through the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Adopt-a-School program, they’ve been learning about the different families of instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion), meeting musicians and trying out violins, a flute, percussion and a trumpet. They’ve been to Powell Symphony Hall, onstage and backstage and out in the house. They know what a composer does. Now they’re ready to share what they’ve learned.” The Adopt-a-School program is headed by SLSO Education Programs Manager Dacy Gillespie, a freelance double bass player and onetime classroom music teacher. “Adopt-a-School ‘is really the flagship education program here’ at the SLSO, says the energetic Gillespie, known to Airport’s second-graders as ‘Miss G.’ For each of the last 16 weeks, either Gillespie or an orchestra musician, including resident conductor Ward Stare, has come to work with Freet’s students, at no cost to the school. … ‘The goal of the partnership is to be collaborative,’ Gillespie says. ‘We don’t just come in and say, “This is what we’re doing.” The students get real familiarity with the orchestra, with the musicians, with Powell Hall itself.’ Seven elementary schools participate in the program, with a new one added each semester.”

 

Photo by Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Posted December 15, 2011