Education & Engagement

Community Outreach

PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLES: A variety of small ensembles are available for performance at community events. Download the ensemble request form below to learn more about how music by Akron Symphony Orchestra musicians can enhance your event.

HEALING ARTS: The Akron Symphony partners with healthcare providers and musicians to nurture and utilize the healing power of music in healthcare settings. Healthcare providers are invited to sponsor choral and instrumental ensembles to perform within their facilities and as part of their programs.

ADULT EDUCATION FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS: Music Director Christopher Wilkins and musicians from the Akron Symphony are available to provide entertaining and informative dialog on a variety of topics.

For more information, contact Fran Goldman, Director of Artistic Operations, at 330-535-8131.

In-School Ensembles

Your PTA/PTO may be interested in sponsoring a program at your school. In-School Ensemble Programs offer elementary students an up-close-and-personal concert experience through programs that includes an introduction to the instruments with a lively hands-on discussion and enjoyable, recognizable pieces that demonstrate important musical concepts. Our programs are designed to address the Ohio Department of Education Music Standards. For a list of available programs and pricing options contact Fran Goldman, Director of Artistic Operations, at 330-535-8131.


INSTRUMENTAL & VOCAL WORKSHOPS designed to enhance the skills of music students are available. Our professional musicians and conductors are available to work with students in your school.

CHORUS PROGRAMS: Members of the Akron Symphony Chorus and Gospel Meets Symphony Chorus are available for outreach and educational programs.

For more information about available workshops, contact Fran Goldman or Brenda Justice at 330-535-8131.

Concert Programs

PREVIEWS FROM THE PODIUM: One hour prior to each of the Akron Symphony’s Classic Series Concerts, Maestro Christopher Wilkins will provide insights about the music and composers featured on the evening’s program. He is often joined by other performers, soloists or composers for this relaxed yet informative talk.

OPEN REHEARSALS: Select concert rehearsals are open for students and community members to attend as part of a school or community outreach program. Check our Concerts page for details.

CONCERTS FOR KIDS is designed for children ages 2-6 years old. Programs are attended by area preschools, childcare centers and families with young children. The concepts, listening and interactions fostered through these performances strengthen a wide range of learning and developmental experiences for children. Programs address the child development and early learning framework including creative arts expression, initiative and curiosity, attentiveness, receptive language, literacy knowledge through storytelling and the portrayal of events, characters and stories through acting.

In May 2017, Eric Benjamin will lead the orchestra in a 45-minute program that features the full orchestra in various venues throughout Summit County. Pre-concert educational and teacher resource materials may be downloaded here.

LINK UP – THE ORCHESTRA ROCKS – March 21, 2017, 9:45 and 11:15 AM at the Akron Civic Theatre
One universal element of music is rhythm. Composers and musicians play with elements of musical time, creating patterns of sound and silence that are expressive and exciting. A consistent groove can unite musicians, singers, and audiences in an experience of listening and performing together. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with a professional orchestra, we will discover how the orchestra rocks.

Repertoire includes Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina burana, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, Holst “Mars” from The Planetsand Stravinsky’s “Dance of the Adolescents” from The Rite of Spring.

Approximately 3,000 students from public, private, charter and parochial schools from throughout Summit County participate in the Akron Symphony’s Link Up program each year. Link Up is a highly participatory program that invites students to learn about orchestral repertoire through a yearlong, hands-on music curriculum. Utilizing materials provided free-of-charge by Carnegie Hall, teachers guide students in exploring music through a composer’s lens, with students participating in active music making in the classroom; performing repertoire on recorder, violin, voice, or body percussion; and taking part in creative work, such as composing their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they have studied. The collaboration culminates with the two performances at the Akron Civic Theatre, providing students the opportunity to sing and play the recorder along with the full Akron Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Assistant Conductor Jacob Sustaita. The performances are free and open to the public subject to seating availability.

Teachers from participating schools are welcome to participate in the Link Up 2016-17 Season Planning Webinar at 5 PM on July 27, 2016. Contact Orzella Matherson or Fran Goldman at 330-535-8131 for more details. Participating teachers should plan to attend the Link Up, The Orchestra Rocks Professional Development Workshops scheduled for September 29, 2016 and January 25, 2017.

The Akron Symphony is one of more than 90 national and international organizations selected to participate in the Link Up program in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI). Link Up’s national partnerships grew out of the program’s ongoing work with New York City schools, through which Carnegie Hall has engaged hundreds of thousands of students in musical learning since its inception in 1985. For more information about the Link Up program and Carnegie Hall, visit

Need a Speaker?

Members of the Akron Symphony / Greater Akron Musical Association executive and artistic staff, Board of Trustees, orchestra and chorus are available to talk about Akron Symphony programs, music, the lives of professional musicians, careers in music, and their own leadership roles within the orchestra and the community. Our representatives are available to visit:

  • Schools and classes
  • Arts organizations and advocacy groups
  • Community music programs
  • Civic engagement organizations
  • Corporations and small businesses
  • Leadership groups
  • Membership organizations
  • Foundations
  • Boards of Directors/Trustees
  • Economic development groups
  • Government entities
  • Media
  • Anyone else interested in what we offer

If you would like to have us speak with your community group, organization or class, please contact Executive Director Paul Jarrett or Education and Community Engagement Coordinator Orzella Matherson at 330-535-8131.