Four Symphony concerts for Santa Cruz County elementary schools

February 24 at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

February 25 at  Watsonville’s Mello Center for the Performing Arts

Musicians of the Santa Cruz County Symphony are spreading out across the county over the next two weeks to bring the joy of classical music to elementary school classrooms from Boulder Creek to Pajaro Valley.  Students will get up close and personal view as orchestral strings are bowed, wind instruments blown and percussive instruments struck. Volunteer docents team up with the musicians to make the visits a fun and interactive experience that brings music to life for the young children.  Students learn what makes an orchestra and how a conductor guides the musicians to make musical sound that is greater than the sum of its parts.

These school visits are preparation for a series of four concerts the Symphony provides at no charge to participating elementary schools in Santa Cruz County.  Over 4,000 students and their teachers will arrive at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on February 24 and at Watsonville’s Mello Center for the Performing Arts on February 25.  Much of the Symphony’s annual fundraising is devoted to keeping this vital program thriving, which provides music education to students regardless of economic background.  For those who are not in fourth and fifth grades, the Symphony will offer a reduced admission Family Concert for all ages, entitled “Music in Motion” at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Sunday, March 2 at 2 pm.

The concerts will feature players from the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony playing alongside professional Symphony musicians, giving the young performers an opportunity to be part of a professional performance led by the Symphony’s new Maestro, Daniel Stewart, who also conducts at the Metropolitan Opera.  Together these players will form the largest philharmonic orchestra on the central coast of California.  The Symphony will also partner with the Cabrillo Youth Chorus and the Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre to make the experience truly memorable for both the eyes and the ears.  Also featured in the concerts will be Roberto and Ernesto Granados playing classical guitar and cajón.

The school visits, school concerts and Family Concert are part of the Santa Cruz County’s Youth Education Program, now in its 48th year.  A new expanding component of that program is the daily listening program now in place in schools around the county where participating classes will hear snippets of great classical music works and learn details about each work.   The Symphony is also continuing its Mueller scholarship program to help pay for lessons and music camp for aspiring, young musicians in need of support.

For more information about the Santa Cruz County Symphony’s programs, contact the Symphony office at 831-462-0553, extension 10  or visit SantaCruzSymphony.org.