School bus after school bus and student after student lined up outside the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts after hearing the news: The Cleveland Orchestra was in town.
Led by associate conductor Brett Mitchell, the Cleveland Orchestra opened season 11 by performing “The Sounds of the Orchestra,” an educational concert for 4,000 Miami-Dade fourth-graders.
“A lot of kids were there, some were sitting up high in the balcony, and there was a lot of talking at first,” said Titus Richardson, 10, of Arcola Lakes Elementary, at the Nov. 29 concert. “When the conductor came out, nobody saw him until all the teachers told us to ‘shh’—that’s when I knew it was starting.”
Cleveland Orchestra Miami launched in 2007 with the goal of inspiring music exploration in local students through its community and education programs — including the free education concerts that teach students about the sounds of brass, string, woodwind and percussion sections, and how composers put all those groups together to create diverse music.
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“This experience is part of Miami-Dade’s Cultural Passport program,” said Montserrat Balseiro, managing director of Cleveland Orchestra Miami. “It’s great to be part of this initiative to provide various opportunities for students who probably wouldn’t experience this otherwise.”
Another education program is the Music Explorers program, which allows students to learn about instruments in a different setting.
“Orchestra musicians will visit select Miami-Dade classrooms in January to talk to students about their instruments,” Balseiro said. “The Music Explorers program targets kindergarten through second-grade students.”
The schools that will participate in next year’s program are Charles R. Drew K-8 Center, Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center, W.J. Bryan Elementary School and Pine Villa Elementary School.
Cleveland Orchestra Miami also has an Under 18s Free program, which provides a free ticket for children ages 8-17 with each regular-priced adult admission.
“Students always enjoy the concerts and sometimes get to talk to musicians after,” Balseiro said. “We are looking forward to next year.”
For more information
To continue spreading the orchestra experience throughout Miami-Dade, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts will host a free community concert in January at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami. More details will be released next week.
For information about upcoming concerts, visit www.clevelandorchestramiami.com.