Nick Dobreff
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Colorado Symphony Youth Education Programs set record attendance numbers for 2019/20 Season

By Nick Dobreff

When you support the Colorado Symphony, you help bring incredible live symphonic music to hundreds of thousands of people throughout Denver and the Front Range each year. But your gifts also do so much more for this community.

The Colorado Symphony has been curating symphonic art for nearly 100 years, but our mission extends far beyond the walls of Boettcher Concert Hall. As part of that mission, we are deeply committed to furthering music education statewide, providing increased access to live symphonic music for a growing and more diverse audience than ever before. 

One of the most vital aspects of this outreach comes in the form of Youth Education Programs, bringing young people into the concert hall and revealing new avenues of artistic expression, especially for those who normally may not have access to live symphonic music. Your support helps make these educational programs a reality, opening doors for the next generation of musicians. 

Like so many things throughout the world, the 2019/20 Colorado Symphony season was abruptly halted in mid March due to the onset and spread of the COVID-19 virus, which forced the postponement and cancellation of numerous concerts and events scheduled through the spring and summer. 

Along with school closures across the country, COVID-19 also spelled an early end to the Colorado Symphony’s 2019/20 Community Educational Programs. Despite the premature and abrupt conclusion, the Colorado Symphony’s Community Education Department still managed to generate record-stetting numbers, tallying a total of 30,646 participants from September 2019 through mid March 2020.

Despite completing only 75% of the season, the Colorado Symphony still welcomed nearly 25,300 students to Youth Concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall alone, compared to 16,436 during the 2018/19 season. 

An additional 5,000 students were scheduled to attend April Petite Musique concerts, Open Rehearsals, In-School performances, In-Community programs, and Link Up, which would have brought the yearly total to 35,646.

“The community education department enjoyed a groundbreaking year, with our highest attendance since 2013 — even with a shortened season — as we continue to connect music to students, classrooms, and communities across the state,” said Jesse Martinez, Director of Community Education. “We need music now more than ever and the Colorado Symphony will continue to offer inspiring musical experiences for all ages that will uplift the human spirit.”

The 2019/20 Educational Programs celebrated Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday with curriculum and musical programs that focused on Beethoven’s music, his inspirations, and composers who were inspired by him. 

“I think it’s very important to have opportunities for music education,” said Lucas O’Connor, a Fifth Grader from Crown Point Academy, during a visit to Boettcher Concert Hall for the Beethoven 2020 Birthday Celebration. “Sometimes music can help people learn, do their work, or help them focus. And it’s also really fun.”

“I felt very excited because I had never listened to a live orchestra before, but Beethoven is one of my favorite composers,” said Lydia Kimball a Third Grader from Summit Academy South, while attending one of the 2020 Youth Concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall..

As the Colorado Symphony prepares for their 2020/21 concert season, the realities and limitations caused by COVID-19 remain. However, the Community Education Department has been hard at work developing a digital curriculum complete with streaming opportunities for teachers and schools to use until large gatherings can once again take place. These programs will be unveiled in the coming months.

As soon as we can gather again, the Colorado Symphony looks forward to building on the education and outreach successes of the 2019/20 Season while continuing to inspire the next generation of musicians. With the help of donors like you, the promise of this mission will continue to be a reality into the future. 

Interested in supporting the Colorado Symphony’s Community Education initiatives, please click here.

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