Nashua Youth (h)EARS

In 2009, Symphony NH (SNH) and the Nashua School District joined together to create a new educational outreach program. Nashua Youth (h)EARS aims to inspire third grade students to want to participate in band when they enter fourth grade.  Through a special program called “Picture This” that was designed for them by Music Director Jonathan McPhee, students learn to identify themes, characters, locations and events by listening to the music.  Teachers help prepare students for intimate musical presentations by a chamber ensemble, and those presentations in turn ready students for the full Symphony NH Orchestra concert they’ll hear at Keefe Center for the Arts – New Hampshire’s largest venue for live classical music – each spring.

The Symphony NH Wind Quintet starts things off by visiting each elementary school to introduce students to the instruments.  Using Prokofiev’s beloved Peter and the Wolf as foundation, the character of each instrument is explored.

Next, all third-graders visit Keefe Center for the Arts together for a concert by the full SNH Orchestra, led by Jonathan McPhee.  The program includes excerpts from movie scores as well as more “traditional” classical hits.  For example:

John Williams “Indiana Jones” theme
Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony
Sibelius’ Finlandia
Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
Holst’s The Planets
Music from Pirates of the Caribbean and more!

Nashua Youth (h)EARS is supported by grants from NH State Council on the Arts, Nashua Arts Commission, King’s Daughters Benevolent Association, the Bean Foundation, Conway Arena Ice Rink Commission and Cogswell Benevolent Trust, Nashua Rotary Club West, and the Ella F. Anderson Trust.


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