The Legendary Music of Star Wars
In April, 2021, your ASO brought the legendary music of Star Wars to Redcliffe Elementary School with a live concert performance in the cafeteria. The students, many of whom had never seen music performed live before, were spellbound. In addition, ASO Board members were on hand (some in costume) to provide “jedi lightsaber training” – there was even a visit from Darth Vader! We received several thank you letters from students following the concert. While all the letters were special, one was so impactful that it spurred one of our sponsors, CCNB, to provide funds for said child to purchase a saxophone (her instrument of choice)! What an amazing morning of music education!
Concerts In The Classroom
Your Aiken Symphony Orchestra introduced our first-ever educational outreach program, Concerts in Classrooms, during the pandemic of 2020 when in-person outreach was prohibited. The ASO, in collaboration with the Aiken County Public School District, created a set of twelve videos, all professionally recorded and produced by Meadows Media LLC. These videos were edited into sets of three – one geared towards elementary children, one to middle school, and the last to high school students. Each video set featured our Cover Conductor and Librarian “interviewing” a musician. Their instrument (violin, clarinet, cello, and percussion) was highlighted as well as a brief summary of their experiences as professional musicians, amusing anecdotes, and famous composers. The videos were sent to every public school in Aiken County for use in the classroom.
It had long been a goal for your ASO to find a way to establish an educational program to introduce students to the wonders of classical music. It was, however, surprising that with the upheaval in the school year, we would find such a great opportunity to begin these efforts.
Aiken’s Young Musicians
Your ASO is pleased to have partnered with a variety of local groups to help support the CSRA’s aspiring young musical students. For approximately 30-45 minutes before the beginning of most concerts, these young musicians are invited to play in the lobby to the delight of our patrons. This collaboration not only showcases these young musicians, it also provides them experience performing before larger groups.
We are also proud to have sponsored the Aiken Youth Orchestra’s performance as part of the 2021 Hopeland Gardens Concert Series.
With the onset of distanced learning brought on by the pandemic, your ASO, with the support of grants and sponsorships, offered patrons the opportunity to purchase livestream access to two concerts. While not recorded for the general public, the livestream was made available for free to all Aiken County Schools.
Aiken Symphony Orchestra Outreach programs could not have begun without the wonderful support of the following sponsors: