Friday, January 18, 2008

SymphonyKids Spotlight: The Green Room Program

The VSO's SymphonyKids Musicians-in-the-Schools educational outreach programs typically serve the elementary-aged student. Since 2003, the Green Room Program has been introducing middle and high school students to our musicians face-to-face over lunch or dinner. After an engaging meal, students and musician mentors tour backstage at the concert hall. This intimate behind-the-scenes experience is designed to give the student a glimpse into the life of a classical musician. Below are excerpts from the reports submitted by Hunt Middle School students who participated in the Green Room Program on December 1, 2007.

“It was fun being able to hang out with friends and meet some new people who were playing that night. I was amazed at how big the Flynn was. I had no idea that it had different floors and rooms…. I was amazed that the conductor was able to memorize all of the music. I have trouble remembering just one sheet of music. I couldn’t believe how fast the pianist was moving her hands, plus the fact that she was still hitting all of the right notes. I had a really fun time….”
-- Aaron Hale

“Starting the night out at the Daily Planet, I was very nervous, but I was almost immediately put at ease when I saw how nice Hilary, my mentor, was…. All of the conversation was very easy, and we discussed concert etiquette so that none of us would be embarrassed during the concert…. The music seemed to come alive…. The night could not have been better….”
-- Iris Jusufagic

“I thought it was nice to hear about the music from the point of view of someone playing it…. Although I have been backstage at the Flynn before, I am always blown away by the contrast between the hall’s open space and the backstage hallways and narrow passages…. I loved our balcony seats, as they gave a view of every section playing, not just the strings. I enjoyed the first two pieces very much. I made up stories in my head to fit the music, not because I was bored, but because it helped me concentrate…. I hope you continue this program because…I know many of my friends have a better understanding of classical music now.”
-- Zoë Robb

“I really enjoyed your concert on Saturday…. The soloist for the Bartók was amazing! My mentor, Hilary, told my table that the soloist played all the music from memory, and even did it from memory during rehearsals! I could barely keep track of where her hands were because they were going so fast! Even though the instrument I play (tenor sax) was not in the concert, I still enjoyed trying to pick out different melodies and who was playing them.”
-- Max Weltman

To learn more about this program and the rest of our SymphonyKids offerings, please contact Eleanor Long at (800) VSO-9293 x14 or via e-mail at