Despite COVID, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has continued their mission to bring great music to Ann Arbor. They have performed numerous virtual concerts pairing with local restaurants to offer dinner to go paired with the show. They have moved their KinderConcert series to virtual, and have continued to support student musicians in Washtenaw County.
A2SO Virtual KinderConcerts
Each year, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra traditionally holds 3 sets of KinderConcerts at various libraries around Washtenaw County. With libraries mostly closed for programming and even in person browsing, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has produced three sets of Virtual KinderConcerts. They are available on YouTube if you want to stream on your TV. I am also including them here to help you find them.
Each concert features movement specialist Gari Stein, pianist Kathryn Goodson, and a guest musician featuring a different instrument. The program is geared to kids ages 2-5. The series includes audience participation just like in person – hand motions, movement around the room, etc. During an in person KinderConcert, props are provided – usually scarves, flowers, and maybe musical shakers. While participating at home, it is best to have some props available – scarves (a cloth napkin or hand towel would be a good substitute), doll or stuffed animal, paper plates, and other props.
Terrific Trombone features Don Babcock on Trombone. It was scheduled as the last KinderConcert of the 2019-2020 season.
The 2020-2021 KinderConcert season kicked off with Playful Percussion featuring John Dorsey on various percussion. Note, this concert is split into 3 parts.
Victorious Violin featuring Alena Carter on Violin is the second of the 2020-2021 KinderConcerts.
The final concert in the 2020-2021 KinderConcert series should be released at the end of May.
A2SO Donations to Ypsilanti Community High School
As part of their ongoing commitment to supporting local community and education initiatives, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) has donated music supplies to Ypsilanti Community High School Band. Jeffrey McKelvey, A2SO Board Member and Vice President of Education & Engagement met with Scott Hawkins, Director of Bands at Ypsilanti Community High School, to deliver accessories such as reeds, mouthpieces, valve oil, cleaning supplies, percussion accessories and more for student use. At the beginning of this school year, Scott personally delivered instruments to individual band members so they could still learn and practice during remote learning. He hopes to distribute these supplies before the end of the school year so that students can use them over the summer.
`I am so thankful for the communication and support from the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. It is great to hear from outside organizations that are checking into the wellbeing of local school music programs. There is a long road ahead to piece music programs back together after a global pandemic. The supplies we are receiving will greatly aide our current and prospective students. I am hoping we can build a partnership into the future that ensures an equitable band experience for our students in Ypsilanti.’Scott Hawkins, Director of Bands at Ypsilanti Community High School
`I wholeheartedly support the Ann Arbor Symphony and the Ypsilanti school music program because music education is important for students. The world we live in today places primary importance on addressing the questions of how things work and why things work – How to scientifically quantify the world around us. I believe how we feel about this world and the tools we have to express these feelings are just as primary to the human experience.
To reference the old saying that people are not going to remember the details of an interaction when they leave you – They are going to remember how you made them feel. Music is how you make people feel. If you give a student the tools to show you how they feel, they can use this to communicate in brand new ways, opening up paths of connection and enrichment that extend to everything that comes into their lives.
We need band directors like Scott Hawkins. He is a special person, carrying out a special mission. I am happy to help provide the tools to accomplish this.’Jeffrey McKelvey, A2SO Board Member and Vice President of Education & Engagement
About Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Now celebrating their 92nd season, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) is a premier regional orchestra that creates live, orchestral music for 70,000 listeners each year. They engage with the community not only through innovative concert programming in Michigan Theater and Hill Auditorium, but also via educational programs, radio, recordings, numerous community concerts, and online streaming activity. Designed specifically with teachers in mind, the A2SO Teacher Resource Hub is a new initiative featuring inspiring, informative, and easy to use learning resources built for both the classroom and online learning. The A2SO continues to offer free virtual KinderConcerts for young children ages five and younger, engaging them at every level – visually, aurally, emotionally, and physically – and deepening their connection with the music through expressing how it makes them feel. Three virtual programs have been produced (Terrific Trombone, Playful Percussion, and Victorious Violin), with a fourth due to be released at the end of May 2021. Each series features one A2SO soloist, pianist Kathryn Goodson and movement specialist Gari Stein. For information on the A2SO’s educational initiatives, please contact Yi-Ching Chen, A2SO Director of Education & Community Engagement.