As the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra tuned up, nearly 900 students shifted in their seats, getting settled for their musical debut. They had reason to feel fidgety. These young performers were about to play with professional musicians and the repertoire was prepared by none other than Carnegie Hall.
For the past several months, third, fourth and fifth graders at 15 different schools have participated in the Link Up program. Developed by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, this music education project pairs elementary schools with community orchestras in locations all across the country. This year, Tallahassee welcomed the project into our own music classrooms thanks to a partnership between the Foundation for Leon County Schools and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.
“The Carnegie Hall project allows really interactive education opportunities to take place,” explains Maestro Darko Butorac, the conductor of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. “If we were trying to do this from scratch it would be very, very difficult for us.” Link Up program coordinator and retired music teacher, Carol Ann Mathews was grateful for the high quality curriculum. “Carnegie Hall supplied everything. Every child got a beautiful workbook with a glossy cover and colored pages. The teachers got a curriculum and extensive online materials. The Foundation for Leon County Schools provided the recorders and the students get to keep them.”
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