Strathmore Hosting MCPS Fifth Graders for National Philharmonic Concerts

October 11, 2011
Corrected from previous version

All fifth grade students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are attending classical music performances by the National Philharmonic at the Music Center at Strathmore this week.

The Strathmore Student Concerts on October 11, 12 and 13 are being led by the National Philharmonic’s Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski and will feature music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Modest Mussorgsky. This is the fifth year that MCPS has partnered with Strathmore to present the free concerts to all fifth graders.

“I am delighted that thousands of MCPS fifth graders will have an unforgettable music experience at these performances by the National Philharmonic,” said Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of schools. “I hope that this experience will inspire students to explore creative and artistic outlets that will enrich their lives in and out of the classroom.”

To accommodate the more than 10,000 MCPS fifth graders, six daytime performances are scheduled during a three-day period in the Concert Hall. There will be two concerts each day: one at 10:35 a.m. and one at 12:15 p.m.

“It is an honor to lead these special concerts for Montgomery County fifth-grade students,” said Maestro Gajewski. “I hope they inspire the children to become future concertgoers or instrumentalists.”

The National Philharmonic’s program will feature classical music works by Mussorgsky, including “Tuileries” and “Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” from Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky, including “March” and “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker. The concert’s big moment is a performance of Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture" (with real cannon sounds).

Using instructional materials developed by the National Philharmonic and MCPS, teachers have been preparing students for the concerts by playing the major works that the orchestra will perform. During the performance, students will sing and move to some of the classical pieces. The student concerts have been a tradition at Strathmore since it opened and have continued to grow and thrive each year. All second grade students in MCPS will attend similar performances by the National Philharmonic in November.

"Since the opening of our 2,000-seat Music Center in 2004, Strathmore and Montgomery County Public Schools have collaborated to present the National Philharmonic to thousands of students from every public elementary school in the county,” said Strathmore Founder and CEO Eliot Pfanstiehl. “The sheer joy and amazement on the faces of the children, many of whom have never been in a concert hall before, reflects the sudden and profound discovery of the power of classical music to young ears.”

The concerts are presented with support from GEICO and Jordan Kitt’s Music.

Music Center at Strathmore

National Philharmonic

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