Akron Symphony Orchestra to perform Link Up Concert for Akron-area students

The Akron Symphony Orchestra will welcome more than 3,500 Akron-area students from 52 schools to the Akron Civic Theatre on March 21 for The Orchestra Rocks, a free performance that is part of the national Link Up program.

The concerts, which will be at 9:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., are the culmination of our annual Link Up program in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The live performance will allow students the opportunity to sing and play the recorder along with the Akron Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Assistant Conductor Eric Benjamin. The repertoire will include O Fortuna from Carmina burana, the finale from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4, and Verdi’s Anvil Chorus.

Video: Link Up: A Program for Students in Grades 3-5

Students have spent the school year studying the repertoire; learning to read music, play the recorder and develop proper vocal techniques; and have sung Carmina burana in Latin.

Angela Mitchell, a classically trained soprano and the assistant producer for radio station WCLV Classical 104.9, will serve as host and song leader for the program. In addition, Oleg Kruglyakov, who began playing the balalaika at age 7 and later was educated at the renowned Ekaterinburg Conservatory, studying conducting as well as teaching balalaika, will perform.

For the first time, Board of Education members, principals and other officials from each of the school districts have been invited to ride the busses with the students to the concert. This is an opportunity for them to talk with the students and learn more about the value of music education in their districts.

Representatives from the school districts in Cuyahoga Falls, Mogadore, Stow-Munroe Falls, Tallmadge and Woodridge have accepted the invitation.

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

Utilizing materials provided free of charge by WMI, 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, voice or body percussion; and taking part in creative work such as composing their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they have studied.

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.

The Akron Symphony Orchestra is one of more than 90 national and international organizations participating in this program.

Schools participating in the concert come from the following districts: Akron, Tallmadge, Cuyahoga Falls, Northfield, Stow-Munroe Falls, Woodridge, Mogadore, Norton, Bedford and Hudson.

To learn more about the program, visit our Link Up concert page.