Education & Outreach

To provide high-quality musical experiences to all of the Austin community and surrounding areas.


Education & Outreach

To provide high-quality musical experiences to all of the Austin community and surrounding areas.


Interested in the ACO? There are many different opportunities to get involved and support our mission. Find out more today!

To learn more about our education and outreach programs, take a look at some of what we offer below.

The ACO is interested in growing the next generation of music lovers and has several programs where we collaborate with the teachers from area schools. Since the 2013-2014 season, the Austin Civic Orchestra has provided free admission to children 18 and younger to attend our concerts with their parent. Since 2016, the Orchestra has collaborated with area music and art teachers in the a Paint to Music Art Contest and then virtual Art Show. Since 2022, the ACO collaborates with AISD Elementary Music Teachers to have a joint concert with the children and their teachers in grades 3-5 in the Austin ISD Performing Arts Center. Finally, we are pleased to be on stage for the Austin ISD Music Memory Program as the performing orchestra.

Learn More


  • The ACO Paint to Music Art Show is a compilation of the art work created by the students while they listened to a specific piece.
  • For our sixth Paint to Music contest, we invite students to create a work of art at home or in a classroom setting while listening to the Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi.
  • All entries will be digitally submitted to a Google folder made available to the teacher or parent.
  • The submitted artwork will be arranged and presented in a streamed digital art show on Saturday, May 20, 2023 on the ACO’s Facebook page, our website, and the ACO’s YouTube channel.  The video will be available for viewing at 7:30 pm and after.
  • For schools and programs that require a permission form for their students to participate, use this link to access the form.

Live Art Work Show

As a bonus, all  teachers and students who participated in the art show (and their families) are invited to attend a concert where the slide show with the music in the background will be shown as a pre-concert program. All free of charge! The event will be at the Bates Recital Hall in the Butler School of Music on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin on May 20, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. See this page for further information.


  • The ACO Paint to Music Art Show is open to all students in grades 3 through 12 attending any school in the city and surrounding areas of Austin. 
  • This includes students that are in public schools, public charter schools, private, parochial schools, and home school.
  • The art and music teachers facilitate the artwork creation and submission.


  • The deadline for electronic submission entry is Friday, March 10, 2023.  Earlier submissions are welcomed.
  • The video will be streamed on  Saturday, May 20, 2023 beginning at 7:30 p.m.


  • Students are to create original artwork while listening to a recording of Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi.
  • Paint, crayon, marker, collage, assemblage, chalk or pastels (sprayed with fixative) can be used.
  • Teachers may refer to these notes for background information on the music selection.
  • Students should be encouraged to fill out the whole page or canvas. Because the artwork will be photographed, very light coloring or uncolored or blank areas should be avoided as these don’t present well in a digital art show.
  • Only one entry per student will be allowed. 
  • To submit entries, email to request a folder to be created for you to upload the artwork or supply the link to the student or parent to upload.
  • Each school will have a folder identified by district and school name. Digital copies of the artwork should be copied to this folder.
  • Please identify each individual art entry with the student’s first name, last initial, grade, as well as the movement of the piece the student listened to while creating the artwork.


The purpose of this Paint to Music contest is to encourage our youth to explore the language of music and the role that classical music can play in enhancing creative expression through art.

Live Performance

As a bonus, all  teachers and students who participated in the art show are invited to attend a concert where the Austin Civic Orchestra performs this piece. Family members are invited as well. All free of charge! The concert is held at the Bates Recital Hall in the Butler School of Music on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin on May 20, 202 at 7:30 p.m. See this page for further information.


Contact Amy Crandell, the ACO Education Director at or 512-970-4882.


The video for 2022 was for Symphony No. 2, Mysterious Mountain by Alan Hovhaness. Take a look at what was created.

Brass Ensembles

Woodwind Ensembles

String Ensembles

Percussion Ensembles

ACO’s Link Up Concert November 15, 2023, 10 a.m. at the Austin ISD PAC

For more than 30 years, Link Up—a program of  Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI)—has  paired orchestras with students in grades 3–5 at  schools in their local communities to explore orchestral repertoire and fundamental musical skills, including creative work and composition, through a hands-on music curriculum. Students participating in Link Up attend a culminating concert as a class with their teachers where they sing and play the recorder or violin with the orchestra from their seats.

Link Up provides a free, high-quality, year-long curriculum that teachers can implement, along with classroom materials, online video and audio resources, and the professional development and  support necessary to make the program an engaging experience for students.

Schools Receive: 

  • Link Up curriculum resources for each teacher (featuring repertoire for singing, playing the soprano recorder or violin, and program-related lesson plans and activities) with accompanying audio and video resources
  • Link Up resources for students
  • Professional development resources and webinar for lead teachers and administrators
  • Access to Carnegie Hall’s online resources, including additional lessons and interactive classroom resources Access to Carnegie Hall’s Link Up Facebook group, which connects teachers, Carnegie Hall staff, and featured contributors to share ideas, student work, videos, and photos.

What is Needed From Teachers:

  • Fill out the interest form
  • Attend an in-person or virtual teacher in-service
  • Fill out a survey from Carnegie Hall after the culminating concert.

Email the ACO Education Team
Call Amy Crandell at 512-970-4882




The annual Amster Chamber Music Program provides young musicians, eighteen years of age or less, from Austin and the surrounding area the opportunity to make music in a chamber ensemble.  This year, we plan to provide to funding to another organization to work with the students.  Students selected to be a part of the ensemble will receive college scholarships and the opportunity to perform at Austin Civic Orchestra concerts in the spring in a pre-concert event.