More than a dozen members of the Austin Civic Orchestra and host Marc Pouhé recently joined with students from two local elementary schools to perform The Orchestra Sings. Part of Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program, the concert is designed to encourage children in 3rd-5th grades to learn about music by playing and singing along with the orchestra.
The participants learned to play their instruments with and sing selected pieces in the weeks prior to the performance with the help of their music teachers, Mattie Baker of Ford Elementary in Georgetown and Jarrod Tuikka of Maplewood Elementary in Austin. The hour-long concert included both live performances and recorded elements that students performed and sang along with while learning valuable musical concepts.
“The Link Up program was very enjoyable for my students,” says Mattie Baker. “We loved the variety of styles in the songs, and then layering different parts on top of each other. My students were excited to have the freedom to choose which instrument or part to play, and I loved seeing them get creative and curious when we were adding our own parts. It can be challenging to find things for 5th grade to be engaged in. The Link Up program was engaging and entertaining for me and all my students.”
Carnegie Hall’s Link Up partners with more than 100 orchestras in the US and around the globe in countries that include Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, and Spain. The ACO was one of eight Texas orchestras to sponsor a Link Up concert in 2022, and it’s an experience they look forward to repeating with next year’s program, The Orchestra Moves.