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New Bedford Symphony Orchestra

Young People’s Concerts

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Young People's Concerts children loving classical music

Each year, thousands of children attend the NBSO’s Young People’s Concerts (YPC) at the historic Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in downtown New Bedford where they experience the power and excitement of a live orchestral performance. As the final phase of the Learning in Concert program, the Young People’s Concerts are a celebration of the students’ year-long exploration of a concept that is authentically shared between classical music and relevant art and academic areas. Throughout the concert, students’ compositions, writing, video interviews, artwork, and photographs completed during the Learning in Concert fall and winter programs are featured on a large screen suspended above the orchestra.

2018: Symphony Symbiosis!

The 2018 Young People’s Concerts will be the final phase of our 2017-2018 Learning in Concert program, The Orchestra as Ecosystem: Symphony Symbiosis. To learn more about this program, please contact Education Director Terry Wolkowicz.

A look at our past Young People’s Concerts in action:

2017: Gravity in Space and Sound

In March 2017, students who participated in the 2016-2017 Learning in Concert program Gravity in Space and Sound attended our Young People’s Concerts at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. At this culminating event of our three-phase Learning in Concert program, thousands of students came to the Z to hear a live concert with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. The NBSO performed exciting classical music that demonstrated various degrees of gravitational force through harmonic cycles and melody. They also performed student compositions of orbital progressions while video of our students at work throughout the year was displayed.

2016: Adaptations in Motion

At YPC 2016, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra performed the World Premiere of Adaptations in Motion, where our student composers, using various compositional techniques, skillfully created musical adaptations that replicate through music the gradual progression of ancient species who moved from swimming and gliding in water to moving, walking or running on land. Throughout the premiere performance, student-created scientific illustrations of the different species explored throughout the curriculum are featured on a large screen suspended above the orchestra alongside illustrations from Kalliopi Monoyios and other notable scientific illustrators.

2015: Contrast

2014: Symmetry

For program registration information, please email Education Director Terry Wolkowicz or call 508-999-6276.


New Bedford Symphony Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert is both educational and entertaining

The Standard-Times, March 6, 2015

More than 3,500 students from all across South Coast and Rhode Island recently attended the Young People’s Concert by the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. These concerts were the culmination of a year-long exploration of contrast in classical music, photography, two-voice poetry, literature and grammar. Throughout the concert, the students’ photographs, poetry and musical performances were featured on a large screen suspended above the orchestra.

Maestro David MacKenzie conducted the orchestra in a program that demonstrated contrast in number, motion and tone using pieces composed by Beethoven, Bernstein, Brahms and Dvorak.

“The concert was spectacular,” Patty Richard, Sippican School music teacher, said. “Every minute was engaging, and every listening goal was clear.”

There was an added third concert for all third-grade students from the New Bedford Public Schools. This concert was funded by grants from the New Bedford Education Foundation and the New Bedford Local Cultural Council.

“We had an incredible opportunity to partner closely with the New Bedford elementary schools this year. Over the course of three encounters with our musicians and myself, these students were able to explore the concept of contrast across the arts and academics,” NBSO Education Director Terry Wolkowicz said. “The children could demonstrate their understanding of contrast through many different means using many different symbol systems. For example, at the Parker School in New Bedford, I was amazed at the high level of engagement, creativity, focus and achievement of these students as they created musical performance, photographs and writing examples that demonstrated contrast.”

The 2018-2019 Learning in Concert Program is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as by grants from the following Local Cultural Councils, which are local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency: Acushnet, Dighton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, and Westport.