Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 17, 2013

Partnership brings Lexington Philharmonic’s music to the classroom

Staff report
The Independent

LEXINGTON — The Lexington Philharmonic recently partnered with the Grayson Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. and Prichard Elementary School to present a LexPhil educational pilot program in eastern Kentucky. An ensemble of musicians performed for nearly 300 third- through fifth-graders in an interactive musical presentation as part of the orchestra’s “Music Tells a Story” educational series.

 The philharmonic presents more than 100 education programs every year, with the majority taking place in Fayette County. The Grayson RECC partnership is important to the philharmonic because it is providing the opportunity for orchestra to work with youth in eastern Kentucky again, which it has not been able to do as much of in recent years because of challenges presented by the economy.

After several months of planning, the Grayson RECC and the orchestra presented two sessions on Nov. 7 that included narration of the book “Jake the Philharmonic Dog,” with music performed by orchestra members of the string, wind, brass and percussion instrument sections featured in the book. Visual images of the book illustrations were projected during the performance. Each presentation also included studying the different instrument families, a question-and- answer session between the students and the musicians and an instrument petting zoo.

“It is vital to LexPhil to establish relationships with companies like Grayson RECC who know their communities, what they need and what will work. This partnership is a great model for how LexPhil can work in other communities to bring the power of music as a learning tool to students and teachers,” said Allison Kaiser, executive director of the philharmonic.

“Our students had a great experience. ... I look forward to working with (the Lexington Philharmonic) in the future. Grayson RECC is an important partner with our school,” said Prichard Elementary School Principal Jason McGlone.

The philharmonic is encouraged by the success of the program and is actively seeking to extend partnerships into other areas of eastern and southern Kentucky.

 Philharmonic programs are made possible through the support of LexArts. The annual Fund for the Arts has raised millions of dollars to support the visual, literary and performing arts in Lexington.

The Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, provides operational support funding for the philharmonic with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.

 For more information, visit lexphil.org.