PITTSBURGH – Local high school students experience the thrill of working with, and performing alongside the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) at Heinz Hall on Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. The first half of the concert is the culmination of six months of hard work for 84 students. The students have planned, promoted, and implemented this concert as part of the Audience of the Future program, and the final performance is led by Assistant Conductor Thomas Hong. During the second half of the concert, 59 student musicians join the PSO for an EQT Side-By-Side concert led by Hong.

The EQT Side-By-Side program offers students the opportunity to work with, and play beside, professional musicians. In addition to the final concert, students have participated in sectionals, rehearsals, and a recital with the PSO musicians. This interaction between student and professional gives an unparalleled glimpse into the life of professional musicians.

The Audience of the Future program offers students the chance to plan, promote and produce a PSO concert. The program gives students a behind-the-scenes, hands-on experience of arts management. The high school students gain experience in the areas of music selection, video documentation, operations, and public relations, including writing and devising marketing strategies to sell tickets. As part of the program, students have attended PSO rehearsals and workshops throughout the year hosted by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra administrative staff. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the participating schools’ art and music education programs. Both parts of the concert are managed by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Education and Community Engagement Department.

Tickets, $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors, can be purchased by calling participating schools, calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank the EQT Corporation for its title sponsorship of the EQT Student Side- By-Side concert.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of the City of Pittsburgh’s heritage for more than 110 years. With its noble history of the finest conductors and musicians and its strong commitment to artistic quality and excellence, audiences around the world have claimed the PSO as their orchestra of choice. In September 2008, the PSO welcomed its ninth Music Director Manfred Honeck. Beginning in the early 1900s with frequent performances in Canada, the PSO confirmed its ranking as a world-class orchestra, earning critical acclaim for each tour abroad. Its 35 international tours include 19 European tours, eight trips to the Far East and two to South America. In January 2004, the PSO became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff’s Silver Jubilee celebration.

Schools participating in Audience of the Future program:
Beaver Falls High School
Charleroi High School
Knoch High School
Moon Area High School
Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA)
Shaler Area High School
Sharpsville High School
Upper St. Clair High School
Wilkinsburg High School

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