Summer=Camp! (and a few other things…) – Jessica Schmidt

It’s an active
and exciting week here at the hall in the world of Education and
Community Engagement.  We are hosting 81 students from throughout the
area (3rd through 9th grade) at our 4-day PSO Summer Strings Camp.

From Tuesday through Friday of this week, these students are with us from 8:15 a.m.until 2:00 p.m.  They
have the opportunity to take group lessons from PSO musicians (we have
14 gifted PSO members teaching those lessons as a part of our Service
Exchange program), perform together in an orchestra setting, experience
the art of jazz improvisation, world drumming and ear training
mini-classes, and generally get to know the PSO and Heinz Hall
throughout their experience.  The week culminates in a final
performance of an orchestra comprised of all 81 participants on the
Heinz Hall stage, with their proud families in the audience.  We hope
that the PSO Summer Strings Camp inspires our young friends to continue
playing string instruments. We also hope it will encourage them to
think of the PSO and our musicians as an inspiration and resource- and
Heinz Hall as a place where they will return many times in future
years. (After the final Strings Camp concert has taken place on Friday,
I’ll work to post a few photos on the blog from the concert so that you
can share in the excitement of the event…)

addition, the PSO is traveling to the city of Uniontown this Sunday,
June 25th, for an evening Community Engagement Concert at
Laurel Highlands High School.
We have had a long standing relationship with Uniontown, and we are
excited about returning to the community to present another concert.
(I heard the rehearsal for the concert this morning, and it is going to
be a great evening of music…)  As with our other Community Engagement
concerts, all proceeds from concert ticket sales will return to the
community where we are performing. In the case of Uniontown, it will be
via Communities in Schools of Southwest Pennsylvania, located in
Uniontown. PSO Community Engagement concerts throughout the region have
thus far raised over $35,000 in ticket sales revenue during the 05-06
season. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Community Engagement
locations choose where they would like their ticket proceeds to be
allocated; many communities choose to put their revenue toward music
scholarships for students and other music education initiatives. It’s a
wonderful overall process for everyone involved- great music, wonderful
relationships, and positive outcomes for all parties involved. If you
are nearby and can join us in Uniontown on Sunday- we’d love to see you
there. In the meantime, I’ll be at Heinz Hall with my new Strings Camp

UPDATE:  Take a look at some pictures from the Strings Camp over at our photo pages

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