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Link Up: Stories from Across the Country

In Link Up, Carnegie Hall’s creative music education program for students in grades 3–5, children learn music fundamentals in their classrooms before attending a highly interactive concert, in which they sing and play recorder along with their local orchestra. The program celebrates its 30th year in 2015 with concerts across the United States and abroad, including six performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall this month.

During the 2014–2015 season, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute shared free Link Up curricula and program materials with more than 70 orchestras, reaching approximately 300,000 students and teachers around the world. News reports from across the nation have hailed the Link Up program this spring. Follow the links below for video and audio recordings, photos, and stories from partner orchestras.


Eugene Symphony (Oregon)

In Oregon, the Albany Democrat-Herald reports from the Eugene Symphony, where student representatives from schools in the Willamette Valley were invited on stage for a Link Up: The Orchestra Rocks concert focusing on rhythm, pulse, and groove. Local high school students joined members of the University of Oregon drumline to help the orchestra close out the show with the interactive piece “Drumlines.”

  Link Up - Eugene Symphony (Amanda L. Smith Photography)
Photography: Amanda L. Smith

 
Link Up - Omaha Symphony  
Omaha Symphony (Nebraska)

As reported in the Omaha World-Herald, the Omaha Symphony added a composition contest to their Link Up program, encouraging students to submit an original melody to be arranged and performed as part of the final concert. On March 4 and 5, fourth grader Zahid Falcon got the chance to hear his piece performed by the orchestra as well as nearly 4,600 of his peers from 77 schools in eastern Nebraska.


 
Flagstaff Symphony (Arizona)

As heard on Arizona Public Radio, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra performed Brazilian composer André Filho’s “Cidade Maravilhosa” this March, accompanied by nearly 4,000 Arizona elementary school students over several concerts. Fifth grader Emilly Jenks said the event was “very inspiring,” and Christopher Barton, the orchestra’s executive director, said the concerts made the musicians “feel like rock stars.”

  Link Up - Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (Thomas M. Knoles)
Thomas M. Knoles Elementary School students
Photography: Diane Rechel

 
Link Up - Tacoma Symphony  
Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (Washington)

The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, says that “it quickly became clear why Link Up is so different from traditional kids’ classical concerts and why it has become so popular,” in its story about the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, which incorporated Link Up into their annual Simply Symphonic concerts in April. “The more the audience participates, the more it works,” Music Director Sarah Ioannides said. “Many of these kids have never been to a concert in here before. And the bonus is they get to play.”


 
Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra (California)

As reported by The Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento Philharmonic ended a yearlong absence from the concert stage with two Link Up concerts on April 10 conducted by the orchestra’s principal bassist Thomas Derthick for students from 23 schools across the region.

  Link Up - Sacramento Philharmonic

 
Link Up - West Michigan Symphony  
West Michigan Symphony (Michigan)

The Muskegon Chronicle has a story and great photos from the West Michigan Symphony, which brought Link Up: The Orchestra Moves to more than 4,000 area students in three concerts on April 15, exploring how composers create musical movement using motifs and melodic direction. The concert featured performers from Studio France School of Dance and Matthew Robertson as guest singer and host.


 

For a full list of national Link Up partners during the 2014–2015 season, please click here.