West Michigan Symphony Begins 8th Year of National Carnegie Hall Program

The West Michigan Symphony has received a $10,000 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Outstate Michigan in support of Link Up, the Carnegie Hall national music education program.
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Oct. 26, 2011 - PRLog -- Muskegon, Michigan, October 26, 2011 – The West Michigan Symphony has received a $10,000 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Outstate Michigan in support of Link Up, the Carnegie Hall national music education program that brings music to the lives of more than 4,000 elementary students in West Michigan each year.

RMHC supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. The regional orchestra will use the grant in part to cover the costs of the six WMS music mentors, who will make a total of 84 classroom visits throughout the year, transportation to the Frauenthal Theatre in Muskegon for the students’ end-of-year concert with the WMS and other costs associated with the performance.

WMS is one of 14 orchestras nationwide, and the only Midwest orchestra, to collaborate with local elementary schools using the Link Up program.  As part of its commitment to Link Up, the Symphony provides:
•   Free musician visits to schools
•   Free teacher training sessions
•   Free teacher guides
•   Recorders for some of the participating schools
•   Free spring concert
•   Busing assistance to the spring concert

“We appreciate the generous gift from the Ronald McDonald House, which will help us to provide music education through the Link Up program to thousands of students this year,” said Carla Hill, president and CEO for WMS. “This program helps introduce students in elementary schools throughout West Michigan to classical symphonic music. It is a unique opportunity, one that these children remember throughout their lives.”

Sponsored by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Link Up shares Carnegie’s world-renowned educational expertise and resources with orchestras and school districts throughout the United States.  Along with providing exceptional repertoire-based curriculum that aligns with national standards, the program also gives orchestras the necessary resources to expand their current music education programs and to strengthen relationships with their surrounding schools and communities.

Link Up is designed to increase students’ skills in performing, creating and listening to music via a series of sequentially linked classroom activities and interactive orchestra concerts.  Throughout the school year students learn about composers' choices in creating music, then are given the opportunity to make their own musical choices while preparing for the concluding spring concert.

As part of the Link Up program, the Weill Music Institute provides participating schools with:
•   Curriculum guide and CD for teachers featuring lessons on singing, playing the soprano recorder or violin, reading and notating music, and composing and improvising music
•   Workbook for each student
•   Professional development for teachers and orchestra administrators
•   Complete concert script, repertoire list and accompanying visuals
•   Access to Carnegie Hall's Online Resource Center with educational materials, including the Link Up Beginnings skills-focused curriculum and audio for teachers and students
•   Access to the Link Up Online Community, which connects teachers, Carnegie Hall staff, and featured contributors for the purpose of sharing ideas, student work, videos and photos
•   Ongoing support and consultation in the areas of professional development, program implementation and media/publicity planning
About West Michigan Symphony
As one of the few professional regional orchestras in Michigan, West Michigan Symphony has played a leading role in the region’s cultural community for more than 70 years.  Founded as the West Shore Symphony Orchestra, WMS now serves a regional audience with eight pairs of concerts annually, along with dozens of educational and outreach activities for children and adults. WMS oversees operations for the West Michigan Youth Symphony.  For more information, visit www.westmichigansymphony.org.

Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall
The Weill Music Institute creates broad-reaching music education and community programs that play a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Woven into the fabric of the Carnegie Hall concert season, these programs occur at Carnegie Hall as well as in schools and throughout neighborhoods, providing musical opportunities for everyone, from preschoolers to adults, new listeners to emerging professionals. For more information, visit carnegiehall.org/weillmusicinstitute.

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