Link Up Concert

Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 9:45 am and 11:15 am

The concert is free to attend, but reservations are required. Contact the Akron Symphony at 330.535.8131.

The Akron Symphony is one of more than 100 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

Link Up pairs orchestras across the country with schools in their local communities. It’s a highly participatory program that invites students to learn about orchestral repertoire through a yearlong, hands-on music curriculum. Each program focuses on specific concepts, including rhythm, melody, tempo, orchestration, and composition. 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 Orchestra Rocks

In 2017-18, the Akron Symphony will partner with 52 area schools and more than 3,500 students in The Orchestra Rocks. The collaboration will culminate with two performances at the Akron Civic Theatre on March 13, 2018 at 9:45 and 11:15 AM. The concerts will provide students the opportunity to sing and play the recorder along with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Assistant Conductor Eric Benjamin.

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 our professional orchestra, we will discover how the orchestra rocks.

Key Objectives
Students will

  • perform by singing and playing the soprano recorder or string instruments as soloists, small ensembles, and orchestra
  • analyze and interpret the essential structures of rhythm and groove
  • connect with the orchestra and explore instruments, families, and orchestration
  • compose and notate new music using the concert music as models
  • develop their imaginative capacities and make personal connections to the music

Concert Repertoire
Cabaniss “Come to Play”
Orff “O Fortuna” from Carmina burana
“In the Field Stood a Birch Tree”
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4, mvt 4
Verdi Anvil Chorus
Dance of the Adolescents from Rite of Spring
“Mars” from The Planets
Cabaniss Drumlines

Featured Performers

Angela Mitchell, host and song leader

For over a decade, Angela Mitchell has carved out a successful dual career as a classically trained soprano and radio host, winning over audiences both onstage and on the air. She has appeared with Cleveland Opera Theater and Mid-Ohio Opera, and starred in roles with Houston-area opera companies including Lone Star Lyric Opera, Opera in the Heights, and Kingwood Summer Opera. She was the winner of the 2011 Houston Masterworks Emerging Artists Competition, performing as the featured soloist in their season finale concert.

In addition to her singing career, Ms. Mitchell is Assistant Producer for WCLV Classical 104.9 ideastream®, Cleveland's premier classical radio station. She produces and hosts the monthly in-studio performance program, "First Fridays," as well as weekly interviews and other special programming. Prior to joining WCLV, Ms. Mitchell was host and producer for Classical 91.7 Houston Public Media.

Ms. Mitchell holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music. She completed both a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Business at the University of Minnesota. She lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika

Oleg was born in Omsk City, Siberia, Russia. Many of his early experiences growing up centered around singing together with family members. He has a keen ear for musical styles and a deep respect for cultural tradition. He is fascinated by the history of the Russian people and well-versed in the etymology of the Russian language.

Oleg began playing the balalaika at age 7 and later was educated at the renowned Ekaterinburg Conservatory, studying conducting as well as teaching balalaika. Oleg taught at the Irkustsk School of Music, Perm College of Music and the Perm Institute of Culture. Since coming to the United States, he has given workshops with “Russian Duo” as part of their mission to share Russian culture and demonstrate the art of collaboration.

Oleg has performed as balalaika soloist with many Folk Russian groups. From 1989-91 he toured Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia and Ukraine with the Urals State Folk Choir. For three years Oleg played with the band "Siberian Mosaic" touring the Irkustsk region of Siberia. Between 1993 and 1998, he traveled with the Urals Folk Ensemble "Prikamie" performing in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Malta and Turkmenistan. Oleg has also appeared with the Russian Folk instrument quartet "Golden Russia." He has participated in many International Festivals, among them the 1997 Folklore du Monde Festival de Bray-Dunes. He had the honor of performing at the United Nations when he came to the US. He is available for balalaika lessons in person and on Skype.