For the past 10 years, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute has partnered with symphony orchestras across the nation—and more recently, the world—to share the Link Up program. Link Up is a music education program created for students in grades 3–5, through which they develop basic musicianship skills through singing and playing recorder. The yearlong program culminates in an engaging, interactive concert during which students perform from their seats with their hometown orchestra. This year, 59 partner orchestras from across the US and in Canada, Japan, and Spain presented Link Up in their communities. Four of these partners are celebrating their 10th seasons in the program. Below, they share some of their thoughts and favorite memories from a decade of Link Up.
“I think both the curriculum and concerts provide a fabulous experience, both for the college orchestra (the James Madison University Symphony) and for our fourth-grade students. We live in a very rural area of West Virginia, and most of our young students have never seen a live orchestra before, much less played along with one!” —Leah Trent, Education Director
“The fact that teachers come back to the program year after year is testament to how much they and their students enjoy and value the program.” —Audra Fuhr, Early Childhood Education Coordinator
“The musicians were in tears hearing the students perform their recorder song with the orchestra. They did not understand the impact of emotion they would feel by experiencing students all playing their recorders together—precious. What a great testimony to the Link Up program and the goal of helping students know the joy of understanding, playing, and appreciating music.” —Karen VanderZanden, Director of Education and Community Engagement Programs
“A young man, upon entering the auditorium and seeing the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra seated, said in a very hushed and awe-filled way, ‘this is a dream come true.’” —Chrissie Seligson, Elementary Music Coordinator, Fort Worth Independent School District
Congratulations to Carnegie Hall—Lewisburg, West Virginia; Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; St. Louis Symphony; and West Michigan Symphony Orchestra. We thank you for 10 years of outstanding partnership!During the 2014–2015 school year, students and teachers from across New York City will participate in the 30th season of Link Up at Carnegie Hall.Visit carnegiehall.org/LinkUp for more information.