Kids’ Orchestra to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Baton Rouge, LA (May 17, 2018) — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant to Kids’ Orchestra to offer afterschool music enrichment programs to 21 students. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts. “The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Kids’ Orchestra in Baton Rouge, LA, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the

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Kids’ Orchestra 2018 Spring Neighborhood Concert Series – Celebrate Our Students’ Semester of Hard Work

Baton Rouge, LA (April 23, 2018) – Kids’ Orchestra is proud to present our Spring 2018 Neighborhood Concert Series. Join us for an evening of great music performed by our orchestra of talented youths from 24 East Baton Rouge Parish schools. Our neighborhood concerts allow students to showcase their skills and celebrate the culmination of their hard work throughout the semester. “My two girls performed at a recent neighborhood concert. Their grades are soaring and they love to practice every chance they get. My oldest had a solo that day. She still talks about it. Little Sis loves just being onstage. They are not shy anymore! We love Kids’ Orchestra,” said Erica Bonton, students’ mother. All performances begin at 5:30 pm and are free and open to the public. May 8 Dufrocq Elementary May 9 LaSalle Elementary May 10 Ryan Elementary May 12 McKinley Middle Magnet School (Honors)* May 14 Independence Park Theatre (Kids’ Choir)** May

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Kids’ Orchestra Teaching Artist and Mentor Professional Development Series Spring 2017

Kids’ Orchestra’s Teaching Artist’s Professional Development Spring 2017 took place on January 11, 2017 at Claiborne Elementary School.  The training exceeded expectations on many different levels. Several discussions took place including sessions on child safety procedures, behavior management strategies, and curriculum.   About 45 teaching artists participated in the event. These artists teach one of 10 music class offerings while facilitating a safe, afterschool environment for students. “A great group music lesson balances discipline and fun, and that starts with a passionate instructor,” says Sam Trevathan, Kids’ Orchestra Education Director, who oversees curriculum. “These training sessions assist our teachers to identify each students’ individuality while bringing them together to perform as a group or ensemble.” Our teaching artists comprise professional musicians, graduate students, and music educators. Not all of them have classroom experience. However, in these sessions, veteran teachers work closely with new staff on best practices. Also this semester,

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Free December Concerts — 800 local youth musicians to perform in 11-performance Neighborhood Concert Series

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 21, 2016 Free December Concerts 800 local youth musicians to perform in Neighborhood Concert Series Kids’ Orchestra hosts 11 free performances Kids’ Orchestra will present 11 performances in its Winter 2016 Neighborhood Concert Series.The concerts highlight the skills acquired during after school music program. 800 students from 24 local public, private and charter elementary schools will be represented at the concerts, playing instruments that include strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Students range from fifth-year veterans who joined the program in its inception to first-year children who just received their first instrumental instruction this September. Special Community Performance Friday, December 2, 6 p.m. Festival of Lights North Boulevard Town Square Featuring Kids’ Choir and student artists on wind, string, and percussion instruments Monday, December 5,  6 p.m. Kids’ Orchestra Kids’ Choir BREC Independence Park Theatre, 7800 Independence Blvd Featuring Kids’ Orchestra community-wide choir representing 21

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Staff Spotlight — Phil Shapiro

Meet Philip Shapiro, Kids’ Orchestra’s newest Program Manager.   Phil manages Mayfair Laboratory School, Magnolia Woods Elementary, and Dufroq Elementary.  Phil enjoys upbeat jazz music and shared some of his favorite tunes while we spoke.   KO: Let’s Start off with WHY you enjoy working with Kids’ Orchestra: Phil: “I’m making a difference in the lives of children at an early age; We’re creating a love of music right from the start”   “Tell me more about that:” Phil: “If you read in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, he talks about how we tend to divide, especially at an early age. We divide students by age, instead of by ability group. That grows and eventually comes true (to them) because they grow up thinking that they’re failures, that they’re worthless, that things will never work out for them because they’ve been stuck in that failure category their whole lives. And it was all

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Top 5 Tips for Your Instrument

With the start of Kids’ Orchestra, here are a few things to review with your young musician: 1.Take Great Care of Your Instrument Keep it Clean Learn how to clean your instrument and clean it regularly.  Sometimes the malfunction is so subtle that the student thinks they are doing something wrong, and frustration mounts.  If your instrument doesn’t sound as  vibrant as when you first received it, it is most likely dirty. Woodwind & Brass Musicians: Watch what you eat! Food particles can get trapped inside a wind or brass instrument. If  you must eat before you play, it is best to rinse your mouth out with water. Store Your Instrument Safely Keep your instrument in its protective case and store it in a safe place. An instrument can be damaged if it takes a fall, or if something falls on it. 2. Play Your Instrument! Practice! Practicing every day

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Join Kids’ Choir!

  New to the 2016-2017 school year, Kids’ Orchestra is expanding our excellent Kids’ Choir program to include ALL children, grades 2 – 6, in the Greater Baton Rouge area. Previously held at 4 local elementary schools, Kids’ Choir rehearsals will now be at Independence Park, a more centralized location increasing accessibility to more children in Baton Rouge. Directed by children’s choir specialists, Dr. Melissa Brunkan and Mr. Jason Bowers, of the LSU School of Music Students from public, private, charter or homeschool groups are invited to participate, from EBR and the surrounding areas.     You’re Invited WHO: All 2nd – 6th graders in the Greater Baton Rouge Area WHAT: A United Voice for the entire Kids community WHEN: Monday evenings from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Independence Park Theatre, 7800 Independence Boulevard COST: $20 per semester Or Included in Kids’ Orchestra instrumental tuition   *Transportation is not

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Open House and Registration Schedule 2016-2017

  Stop by Kids’ Orchestra at your school’s Open House All open houses feature information about our program, an instrument petting zoo, scholarship information and online registration. Open House Schedule     Friday, Aug. 5 12 to 4 p.m. GEO Prep Academy Saturday, Aug. 6 12 p.m. Capitol Elementary School Monday, Aug. 8 1 to 3 p.m. Westdale Elementary School 2 to 3:30 p.m. Buchanan Elementary School 2 to 3:30 p.m. Dufrocq Elementary School 6 p.m. LSU Lab School  Tuesday, Aug. 9 2 to 4:30 p.m. Brownfields Elementary School 2 to 3 p.m. Wildwood Elementary School 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Claiborne Elementary School 3 to 4 p.m. LaSalle Elementary School 6 p.m. Ryan Elementary School Thursday, Aug. 11 8 to 10:30 a.m. St. James Episcopal School Tuesday, Aug. 16 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Redemptorist Open House Tuesday, Aug. 23, 6 to 7 p.m. Belfair Montessori Magnet 6 to 7 p.m.  J.K. Haynes Elementary Wednesday, Aug. 24 5 to 6 p.m.  BRFLAIM [Mayflower

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The Doctors DiSalvio Are In

“Music started it all,” says Nick DiSalvio, DMA, and thankfully, it is what brought this powerhouse couple to Baton Rouge, and coincidentally to the Kids’ Orchestra family. They met in Europe their sophomore year of high school through the American Music Abroad (AMA) program. After the tour ended, they were separated by 200 miles, but AIM and E-mail helped them stay in contact over the course of their remaining high school years. Before her sophomore year of college, Pagean transferred and joined Nick at at Rowan University in New Jersey. After succesfully completing their undergraduate music degrees and falling in love, they set out together to Illinois State for their masters’ degrees. Now, the DiSalvios are just a few weeks away from their graduation from the doctoral program at LSU. Pagean will graduate with a DMA in trumpet performance and Nick will graduate with a DMA in woodwind performance. The

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Kids’ Orchestra Choir Director Presents at NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference

Kids’ Orchestra would like to send congratulations to Jason Bowers for his research on the values and benefits of Kids’ Orchestra’s after-school choir program on African American students. Bowers presented at the 2016 NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference in the Social Justice and Cultural Diversity category. The conference took place March 17-19 in Atlanta, Georgia. Bowers began his research last spring, using traditional ethnographic methods to obtain data, such as observing rehearsals and performances, interviewing students, parents, directors, and KO staff, as well as studying material culture including the KO website, El Sistema website, etc. Bowers has worked with Kids’ Orchestra for 2 years teaching choir. Bowers says of the conference: It was a great experience and led to me meeting a variety of other people interested    in El Sistema-inspired programs. I am hoping to develop this project into my dissertation and expand it to look at the

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