29 years of introducing young people to classical music and instruments
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The 2023 Education Program is supported in part by the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation, Greenfield Public Schools, the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, and the local Cultural Councils of Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont-Hawley, Colrain, Conway, Gill, Greenfield, Hadley, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Shelburne, Wendell, and Whately.
One of the key facets of Pioneer Valley Symphony’s mission is to introduce children in Franklin and Hampshire counties to classical orchestral music. Every year, beginning in 1994 with the arrival of music director Paul Phillips, we provide a six-week educational music program. This program consists of teaching materials for third- and fourth-grade public school classes and culminates in the Educational Concert, where 1,000 students come and hear the full orchestra perform the pieces they have been studying.
Imagine busloads of children spilling out into the parking lot one April morning, lining up, and walking into the hall. The 1,000-seat auditorium is filled to capacity. Well-behaved and highly expectant, the students respond enthusiastically to the Maestro's questions, applaud loudly, cheer their favorite section or players of the orchestra, or chant, “Mozart, Mozart, Mozart!"
The children’s program is designed for music educators and their students, and the repertoire is drawn from the orchestra’s current season. As part of the six-week curriculum, children receive a handbook, and their teachers receive a CD with the concert pieces that they can play in their classrooms. PVS Orchestra members also volunteer their talents by going into the classroom—sometimes individually, sometimes in duos, trios, and quartets—to help youngsters appreciate orchestral music or learn an instrument. Shortly before the concert, orchestra members visit schools to demonstrate their instruments, giving the students a personal experience that will leave a lasting impression.
The Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation has played a leadership role in making this program possible by generously underwriting a large portion of the program for over two decades. In addition, the PVS has been successful in finding support from a variety of sources including gifts from local businesses and individuals. Help us keep the Children’s Program going strong. Your gift to the PVS Fund will support our continuing efforts to educate Franklin County’s children through music education and enable them to experience live symphonic music in the Pioneer Valley!
April 7, 2022
Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Dan Brown to accompany his children’s book of the same name, Wild Symphony transports us on a journey through musical forests and oceans to meet creatures with a secret to share.
Look for the Wild Symphony picture book at your local library or bookstore!
The Mystery of the Missing Music
April 10, 2021
PVS Music Director Tianhui Ng collaborated with award-winning composer Jordan Kuspa to develop a fully virtualized children’s concert, The Mystery of the Missing Music. This musico-logical whodunit combined storytelling and accessible orchestral music for a vibrant event that encouraged students to learn about music as well as other academic subjects.
Mystery of the Missing Music - DIGITAL PROJECT PREMIERE
September 26, 2020
In 2020 we presented an adaptation of Peer Gynt in collaboration with Dr. Maria Jose Botelho, Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the College of Education of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The play Peer Gynt chronicles the title character's travels around the globe from Norway’s mountains to the North African desert and Peer’s interactions with the many exciting and unfamiliar places and people along the way.