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 has a number of youth outreach programs. The ACO hosts the annual Amster Chamber Music program, which spotlights exceptional young musicians from the central Texas area. Since the 2013-2014 season, the Austin Civic Orchestra has provided free admission to children 18 and younger. Since 2016, the Orchestra has sponsored a Paint to Music Art Contest and then virtual Art Show.  In 2022, the ACO will sponsor a Link Up show titled “The Orchestra Sings.”

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 fifth Paint to Music contest, we invite students to create a work of art at home or in a classroom setting while listening to the Symphony No. 2, Mysterious Mountain by Alan Hovhaness
  • 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 14, 2022 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.


  • 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 11, 2022.  Earlier submissions are welcomed.
  • The video will be streamed on  Saturday, May 14, 2022 beginning at 7:30 p.m.


  • Students are to create original artwork while listening to a recording of Symphony No. 2, Mysterious Mountain by Alan Hovhaness.
  • 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, and grade.


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 Klett Performing Arts Center in Georgetown, Texas on May 14, 2022 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 2021 was for La Création du monde by Darius Milhaud. Take a look at what was created.

Brass Ensembles

Woodwind Ensembles

String Ensembles

Percussion Ensembles

ACO’s Link Up Concert will be Saturday, April 9, time TBD, Location TBD

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 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.

Your School Receives: 

  • 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.

Composers and musicians create melodies, which can be sung or played on instruments. When an orchestra plays these melodies, the orchestra sings. Students explore melody in a range of colorful orchestral repertoire, sing, play the recorder or a string instrument, compose, and perform in a culminating concert with [orchestra name].

Repertoire Highlights:

  • Thomas Cabaniss’s “Come to Play” and “To Make Words Sing”
  • Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
  • Brackett’s “Simple Gifts”
  • Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony
  • Jim Papoulis’s “Oye”
  • Stravinsky’s Finale from The Firebird Suite

Are you a music teacher interested in participating? Click HERE to fill out an information form.

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 and with the ACO.  Competition prizes include college scholarships and the opportunity to perform at Austin Civic Orchestra concerts in the spring.