Wheaton HS Partnership with BSO To Expand Students' Musical Horizons

June 8, 2009
Partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Designed to Expand the Musical Horizons of Wheaton High School and Loiederman Middle School Students

This fall, student musicians at Wheaton High School will have an opportunity to sit side-by-side with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) musicians as they rehearse a concert with Maestra Marin Alsop, music director of the BSO. This is just one of the many opportunities that will result from a new partnership among the BSO at Strathmore, Wheaton High School, and A. Mario Loiederman Middle School—designed to expose students to high-level musical experiences.

Michael Hunt, academy programs coordinator at Wheaton High School, was looking for a way to build the music program at his school. Initial talks with BSO Community Liaison Richard Spero led to a series of ideas that are formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding among the participants. Loiederman Middle School, a feeder school to Wheaton with an emphasis on the performing arts, provided a natural extension of the partnership to the middle school level.

In other components of the program, Christian Colberg, the BSO’s principal assistant violist, will rehearse and conduct the newly formed Wheaton High School Philharmonia in several pieces for their winter concert. Loiederman Middle School students will be invited to observe one of the Philharmonia’s rehearsals and will be mentored and rehearsed by Mr. Colberg for their own concert in the spring of 2010. Other BSO musicians also will come to Wheaton to conduct master classes for sections of the Philharmonia.

“We have outstanding teachers in instrumental director Dorothy Hollingshead and choral director Lincoln Cobbins,” said Hunt. “We are all excited by the ways in which this partnership will give students insight into musical careers and a greater appreciation for music and its performance.”

Since early 2007, more than 6,000 of the County’s elementary-aged students have participated in “BSO on the Go”–a series in which selected members of the BSO present highly interactive musical programs in informal classroom settings. The just-announced ensemble mentoring by Mr. Colberg represents the first secondary school partnership by the BSO in Montgomery County.

A kick-off picnic at the school for participating Wheaton students on August 21 will provide them with their first opportunity to meet some of their new BSO mentors.

For more information:

Kate Harrison, MCPS Public Information Office, 301-279-3853
Michael Hunt, Wheaton High School, 301- 929-2050
Richard Spero, BSO at Strathmore, 301-581-5212

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