10,000 MCPS Fifth Graders To Attend Strathmore Student Concerts

May 7, 2009
National Philharmonic Performs Six Student Concerts May 20-22

Strathmore opens its doors to all fifth grade students from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on May 20, 21 and 22, 2009. The Strathmore Student Concerts in the Music Center at Strathmore’s Concert Hall give children the opportunity to attend a performance by the National Philharmonic, conducted by Music Director Piotr Gajewski. The National Philharmonic concerts feature music by Russian composers Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Modest Mussorgsky. The interactive concerts are presented by Strathmore in partnership with MCPS and are sponsored by GEICO.

“The gift from GEICO allows Strathmore to present world-class performing arts experiences to Montgomery County Public School students. By giving children access to live performances, we allow them to explore their creativity and foster music appreciation that can last a lifetime,” said Eliot Pfanstiehl, president & chief executive officer, Strathmore.

To accommodate the 10,000 MCPS students, six daytime performances are scheduled during a three-day period in the 1,976-seat Concert Hall, two each day at 10:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. This is the second year that Strathmore has presented spring concerts to MCPS fifth graders. Since opening the Music Center in February 2005, Strathmore has welcomed MCPS second grade students for the Strathmore Student Concerts series performed by the National Philharmonic. Strathmore and Montgomery County have demonstrated a commitment to providing world-class music education experiences to the county’s youngest residents.

“The Strathmore student concerts featuring The National Philharmonic have been a huge success among our students,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools. “We are pleased that our partnership with Strathmore and The National Philharmonic, with support from GEICO, continues to provide a memorable concert hall experience for our fifth graders.”

The National Philharmonic’s 45 minute program features beloved classical music from the Romantic Period including Tchaikovsky’s “March,” and “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker, an excerpt from the composer’s Symphony No. 4, and Mussorgsky’s “Tuileries” and “Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells” from Pictures at an Exhibition. The grand finale will feature Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” with spectacular cannon effects and students playing bells.

The lecture/demonstration format of the performance is supported by imagery on a large projection screen above the stage. “The musical examples will illustrate the various possible meanings of music, leading to the ultimate conclusion that music is simply about how it makes one feel when one listens,” says Maestro Gajewski.

The Strathmore Student Concerts with the National Philharmonic will be held on May 20, 21 and 22 at 10:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Music Center at Strathmore. The Music Center is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, in North Bethesda, MD, immediately adjacent to the Grosvenor-Strathmore station on Metro’s Red Line. For more information on Strathmore, visit or call (301) 581-5100.

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