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Colorado Springs Philharmonic brings orchestral music to 5,000 students in Colorado Springs

Musicians and teachers say students can take skills from music into their everyday lives
Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 20:33:07-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Philharmonic has partnered with the Olympic and Paralympic Museum to bring orchestral music to 5,000 elementary school students. The Philharmonic is playing at Wasson High School on March 12 and 13 for every elementary school in District 11 and for students in Security-Widefield, Academy District 20, and Manitou Springs District 14.

"You know, this isn't just about music," said Executive Director for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Nathan Newbrough. "This is also about sports, and it's also about these big themes of resilience and grit, and teamwork. They're so important if you're an athlete, or if you're a violin player, or if you're in fourth grade!".

The Philharmonic played a piece called "The Orchestral Games", all while 4-time Olympian Triathlete Hunter Kemper narrated a race between different instruments. Students could hear how fast string instruments could play, how low a tuba could sound, and how loud a trumpet could be.

"The gift of music is a lifelong experience for so many of our children, it's a different language. So it can be a help for math…it can also help in [English Language Arts]. They're just different letters of an alphabet," said District 11 Superintendent Michael Gaal.

Penrose Elementary 5th grader Mason Reil says besides playing hockey and football, his favorite thing to play is the viola.

"I could feel the vibrations on my seat while I was listening to it. And playing it just feels like something that's fun," he said.

Jackson Elementary School Drama teacher Monica Slabach says she was surprised by how engaged her students were.

"I think when we hear Philharmonic, I'm going 'Oh my goodness, how are third graders going to be able to sit through 30 minutes, an hour?', but they made it so engaging to have an Olympian speaking throughout it, to have the instruments competing was a really fun way to introduce and actually educate students on the different instruments and what they're actually doing on stage.," she said.

Slabach said she hopes it will inspire students to engage with instruments in the future, and hopes they can learn lessons to take into their lives.

"And as they translate those skills to middle and high school and beyond, it grows their confidence, it helps their social skills," she continued.

Every student attending the concerts will receive two free tickets to attend any Philharmonic show during the season.

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