Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces residency and programs In Southern Dallas

Program Kicks Off with Five Events in December

Instrument Drives to be Scheduled to Collect Instruments for the Program

DALLAS, TX (November 16, 2018) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra today announced new programs and residencies in Southern Dallas. Utilizing its resources including DSO musicians, staff members, chorus members, various concert services and educational resources, the DSO is implementing a multi-faceted program which is being co-designed with community organizations, educators, local artists, city officials, the local cultural community and leaders in the region. This initiative is funded in part by generous support from Capital One and The Eugene McDermott Foundation.

“Greater access to the arts in all parts of our city is important in maintaining a healthy arts ecosystem and a key component of our long-term Dallas Cultural Plan strategy,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “I am excited about this collaboration between the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and various community partners to expand music programs for children and artist residencies in Southern Dallas. The Dallas Symphony has long been a key partner in elevating Dallas’s artistic profile, but its involvement in the community is equally remarkable.”

The program has three pillars:

  • DSO providing instruments and instruction to children in area schools and in after-school programs;
  • DSO musicians performing concerts on weekends and evenings in the community; and
  • DSO musicians collaborating with artists in the community.

“This is the first time that a music program of this magnitude has been implemented in Southern Dallas, and I am very excited about it,” said Kim Noltemy, President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association. “The ultimate goal is for every child in Southern Dallas to have access to an instrument, lessons and performances free of charge. This deep and long-term engagement of both education and concert-making will build relationships in the community to get everyone excited about music and the new opportunities that music can provide.”

“Music and the arts don’t just nurture the soul, but also inspire imagination and trigger innovation,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, Chairman of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors. “I am personally passionate about this unbelievable initiative. Programs like these can enable children to engage in unique, immersive experiences that ultimately help them unlock their full potential in any field they choose to pursue, including careers in STEAM.”

The program kicks off with a series of events to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra, allow them to try the instruments and sign up for instruction.

  • December 1 – afternoon – Southwest Center Mall (formerly Red Bird Mall), 3662 W Camp Wisdom Rd C1076, Dallas, TX 75237 (Instrument playground + Symphony Yes! + Young Strings)
  • December 6  – evening – Martin Luther King Recreation Center, 2901 Pennsylvania,  Building E, Dallas, TX 75215 (Instrument playground + quartet)
  • December 8 – Winter Faire and Market (Hosted by Shakespeare Dallas and Little D Markets), Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, 1500 Tenison Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75223 (quartet performance)
  • December 15 & 22 – Highland Hills Library, 6200 Bonnie View Rd, Dallas, TX 75241 (Instrument playground + Symphony Yes! + Young Strings)

South Dallas Cultural Center will also host a sign-up event in January 2019.

The DSO will provide hundreds of instruments to students by June 2019. Instrument drives will be held around Dallas, and the DSO is appreciative of donations of instruments for the residency.

In partnership with organizations including Big Thought, the DSO will offer music programs and lessons multiple times per week as part of school and/or existing after-school programs at no charge to families. Educational partners will assist the DSO in developing curriculum and training teaching artists for the residency. In addition to providing instructors, DSO will facilitate opportunities for ensemble playing across the area as children become proficient. The organization will offer mentorship programs, demonstrations and connections to behind-the-scenes components of the orchestra business such as stage management, lighting and sound crew, marketing, IT and more. Student musicians will be identified to work with DSO chamber groups for concert preparation, soloing opportunities and performances at the Meyerson. Looking long-term, this program will expand to accredited Pre-Kindergarten programs in Southern Dallas starting in 2020 to provide weekly or twice weekly early music education for children from 3-5 years old. Partners who will participate in these programs include Dallas Metroplex Musician Association and Verdigris Ensemble. In addition, the DSO will work with social services organizations Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star Texas and CASA to engage the children and their families along with mentors and advocates with music and musical opportunities.

Engaging with the entire community is key to the success of this program. The DSO has performed Parks Concerts in the City of Dallas for decades, but now the organization is committing to two Parks Concerts taking place in Southern Dallas in strategic locations that will help build enthusiasm for the program in totality. The annual concert at Paul Quinn College will continue, and subsets of the orchestra will perform at various additional locations in the area each year. As part of the performances, local musicians and organizations will join the DSO to create a community festival surrounding each event. As part of the DSO on the GO Series, the organization will work with local artists to create a themed concert with input from the community.

Community concerts presented as part of this initiative will facilitate large-scale collaborations with local musicians and artists. These can be mixed-genre concerts, concerts that feature visual arts and dance, new commissions, side-by-side concerts with student musicians participating with professional musicians, a neighborhood-wide choral event and more. Local artists will become partners in this program and help the DSO create meaningful and authentic concerts and experiences to connect residents in Southern Dallas with DSO musicians and staff.

“Orchestras have participated in outreach to their communities, but real change comes from a multi-year, deep engagement on a number of levels,” said Noltemy. “This approach uses music as a way to open the doors to communication and conversation.”

About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 211,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900, and is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra offers a number of programs that are targeted to students around the Metroplex including in Dallas ISD and Southern Dallas. These include: the Cecil and Ida Green Youth Concert Series which brings 20,000 students per year to concerts in the Meyerson; DSO Express which organizes a free comprehensive concert experience with related educational activities for high school students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Dallas; Symphony Yes! Which brings interactive music performances by DSO musicians directly to schools; and Young Strings. Young Strings participants are students in grades 2-12 from Dallas neighborhoods where up to 85% of all households are economically disadvantaged.