Connecticut symphony uses power of music, performance to inspire students

GREENWICH, Connecticut (WABC) -- A Connecticut music program is bringing the orchestra out of the concert hall and into the classroom.

The Greenwich Symphony is using the power of music and performance to inspire fourth and fifth graders in what's called a "Young People's Concert."

"We give so much education and this wonderful experience to kids that they may never have again in their lives," Symphony Conductor Tara Simoncic said. "This might be the first time they're seeing world-class musicians perform."

The orchestra has performed for Greenwich students in grades two through seven for 39 years. There are three concerts a year for all public school kids, a range in Greenwich that encompasses affluent sections of town and the district's three Title I schools with lower income populations.

"What I want them to get out of this is a lifelong love of music," said Sandra Heikel, music teacher in the Greenwich School District. "We're just grateful that we have the opportunity to share this with the students."

The 45-minute performance features works highlighting solo performances from the vibraphone to the clarinet. French horn, cello, violin and accordion musicians also showcased the uniqueness of their instruments.

"You could tell that they put in a lot of time and a lot of work to make the pieces perfect for us," sixth grader Isabel Schlaack said.

The district is exploring the possibility of offering the symphony's "Young People Concerts" to outside school districts.

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