Link Up pairs elementary schools with the Spokane Symphony | Arts & Culture
The music room at Garfield Elementary was humming with the sound of recorders this afternoon as students prepared for the Link Up concert with the Spokane Symphony at the Fox Theater.
Link Up is national program from Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute that pairs orchestras with local schools for an interactive concert. The Spokane Symphony was invited to join the program last year and jumped at the opportunity.
“This enhances the whole community,” said Janet Napoles, Manager of Education Programs at the Spokane Symphony, “it's just a benefit no matter how you look at it.”
Napoles said that they were “blown away” after attending a Link Up concert in New York. Link Up sends schools work books for children to learn and practice the music both in the classroom and at home. Orchestras are send a scripted concert that tells them how to incorporate the students into the show.
Today, students were excited as they worked to perfect their recorder notes and went over lyrics for the sing-a-long portion of the concert. However, mimicking the beats of the drum line was a little more difficult and the class burst into giggles when they couldn't quite make their clapping hands and stomping feet keep up.
“Last year I had a lot of fun and I wanted to do it again and again and again,” said fifth grader Nathan Carter, “the more things that involve music, the better I get.” This is the second time around for Carter and since then he has also started playing clarinet in the school band and strings program.
Fourth grader Hannah Mallery is looking forward to playing with others and with the symphony. Friday's concert will also act a second chance,“Last year I was so afraid that I didn't play at all,” Mallery said.
For third graders Lena Guier and Theo Snyder the concert is about more than just their proclaimed love of music. They are excited to go to the Fox Theater. The girls both agree that the chandeliers are beautiful and are impressed by the “great quality” of the venue. Guier is hoping her parents will take her for hot chocolate at the Davenport after her grand symphony debut.
For many of the students preparing for the Link Up concert, this will be there first time not only at a symphony concert, but also downtown. It gives them an opportunity see how music fits into the world outside of the classroom or radio.
“The main thing is just this experience for the kids,” Napoles said.
“This is a way to get kids to see how far music can go,” said Kate Klotz, music teacher at Garfield. Klotz said the program allows her students to see real life applications and is a g great extension of what she can show them in class, “it shows them how music is celebrated in our culture.”
700 students form 14 schools are participating this year. Some will go to a morning concert and others, including Garfield, will play in the evening show. Families are encouraged to attend and the interactive style makes it safe kids as young as three.
The Spokane Symphony will team up with area schools for the Link Up concert Friday, May 3, at 7:00 pm at the Fox Theater. Tickets are $6.00.