The Discover Music concerts series began the week of October 21st and lasted over the course of two days. This year we saw over 6,600 3rd-5th grade students that represent 28 schools. The Discover Music Children’s Concert Series has been an integral part of the Abilene Philharmonic mission since 1955. It provides TEKS classroom curriculum for region 14 music teachers and a six to eight week active learning experience for third through fifth graders that ends in a live orchestra concert. For many of these students, it is their first time experiencing a live symphony orchestra performance.
This year’s theme “Texas Cowboys at the Philharmonic” focused on the melodies that shaped the Wild West. The performance featured The Cowboys Overture by John Williams, “On the Trail” from the Grand Canyon Suite by Grofe, and Aaron Copeland’s Rodeo Suite. Something new to this year’s concert is that the Rodeo Suite was accompanied by photos of rodeo scenes that were choreographed to music. These photos were projected on a large 40′ x 10′ screen over the orchestra provided for free by Westerwater Arts.
The Discover Music Concerts don’t just happen overnight. It takes several months of preparation between Abilene Philharmonic staff and Abilene ISD to develop a curriculum guide for teachers to use with their students in the classroom to help prepare them for the culmination of these concerts. The concert provides these students with a real-life connection to the lessons they have been studying all semester long. As a music educator himself, Maestro Itkin does a tremendous job hosting the concert and making the students feel welcome at the Convention Center.
The Discover Music Children’s Concert Series sparks inspiration and an interest in classical music. It helps lay a foundation for lifelong learning and the enjoyment of music. It begins developing an appreciation for the arts and culture when students are at a critical age of influence. For some schools located in more rural communities, there is not a designated music teacher and this program serves as their only resource to providing a high-quality music education program.
Thank you, this year’s sponsors,: AEP, AISD, HEB, and our Annual Fund Donors that continue to make this program possible and ensuring that we provide high quality music education programs for students in the Big Country. If you want to learn more about being a sponsor for the Discover Music Children’s Concert, please contact us at (325) 677-6710 or visit our website at AbilenePhilharmonic.org.