In collaboration with Carnegie Hall, The Carolina Philharmonic is bringing “Link Up” to elementary schools across the county for the fourth year in a row. Link Up is a highly participatory program that pairs orchestras across the country with schools in their local communities, inviting students to learn about orchestral repertoire through a yearlong, hands-on music curriculum.
Each year focuses on specific concepts, including rhythm, melody, tempo, orchestration, and composition. Utilizing materials provided by Carnegie Hall, teachers guide students in exploring music through a composer’s lens, with students participating in active music-making in the classroom; performing repertoire on recorder, violin, voice, or body percussion; and taking part in creative work such as composing their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they have studied.
Prior to the culminating concert on April 13 at R. E. Lee Auditorium, guest artists visit each school to engage the children with the Link Up curriculum and music. “It is a joy to meet students from all over Moore County and see them excited about music,” says April Collins, Conductor of the Carolina Philharmonic Junior Orchestra and the 2016/17 Link Up featured artist for school visits. I’ve met kids from public, private, charter and home schools, and the common thread that weaves our time together is music. This year, we traveled the globe meeting composers and their music with waltzes and nocturnes. We created our own ‘Toreador’ opera scene and sang ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ in Portuguese while dancing the samba. Priceless!” Guest artists visit children in their schools to reinforce concepts and music learned in class. It also gives students a more intimate glimpse of what they will experience at the final concert.
Ms. Linda Skinner, Music Teacher at Southern Pines and West End Elementary Schools shares, “The 4th graders in Moore County are lucky to have this program and their recorders! Link Up exposes them to the orchestra, professional musicians, and an art that not everyone gets to experience. They are not only learning how to read music notes, play their recorder, and sing; through the visitors and interactive performance, it is a personal experience and they are owning it. The best learning happens when they own it.” Students also had special visitors like the Philharmonic’s Maestro David Michael Wolff, Jandira Croll, a native from Brazil, and William Johnson, a professional percussionist and ethnomusicologist.
Johnson says, “Being a part of the Link Up program in local schools gives me an opportunity to sow seeds in children of various age groups that will potentially sprout into greatness in a multitude of life skills. Programs like Link Up show our children and communities they have value, and I am privileged to play a small role in what they are doing. “
The culmination of the program is a live performance in which 1,250 local children have the opportunity to sing and play the recorder or string instrument along with the Carolina Philharmonic. This performance provides them with the opportunity to apply the musical concepts they have studied, and be inspired to excellence.
The Carolina Philharmonic greatly appreciates music teachers from all 16 schools who have helped us share the magic of music in their classrooms. Schools participating in the 2016-17 Link Up program this year: Aberdeen Elementary, Carthage Elementary, Cameron Elementary, Highfalls Elementary, Pinehurst Elementary, Robbins Elementary, Sandhills Farm Life Elementary, Southern Pines Elementary, Vass-Lakeview Elementary, West End Elementary, West Pine Elementary, Westmoore Elementary, Sandhills Classical Christian School, The Academy of Moore County, Episcopal Day School, and The O’Neal School.