Through educational outreach, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra emphasizes the power of music education and its proven ability to improve education and the quality of life in our community—for all ages!
According to industry studies, CSO’s educational programs are among the most highly developed in the nation (within our budget class). That success is largely due to a strong network of dedicated staff, volunteers, and a rare depth of collaboration with local school teachers, school administration, and local organizations like the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens and Laramie County Public Library.
We are exceptionally grateful for your enthusiastic support of music education, and we look forward to seeing you (and your students) at many of the programs listed below!
Adult Music Education
Our primary goal for adult music education is to enhance the concert-going experience, whether that’s by providing a deeper understanding of the pieces being performed, or through creating opportunities for conversation with the musicians themselves.
To enrich your understanding of the pieces CSO will perform this season, we provide informative summaries and notes for each program. (This information will also be included in each corresponding concert program.)
Program notes are written by CSO’s Bass Trombonist Dr. William Runyan, Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University. When the notes are available, we will link them in the text below.
2020/2021 Season Program Notes
Lunch & Learn Classic Conversations
Grab lunch and join Maestro Intriligator—along with a rotating cast of guest artists—for an informal, entertaining discussion, featuring musical insights about the composers, their works, and the world of Classical music. The discussions will be livestreamed on CSO’s Facebook page at noon, the Friday before each concert, and via the Laramie County Public Library Zoom (click here to register). They will also be available for later on-demand viewing on CSO’s Youtube channel and website.
The discussion will center around the music that will be performed during Saturday’s concert, point out what the audience should listen for, give historical context in which the music was composed, and discuss the meaning behind the music. This information greatly adds to one’s appreciation and understanding of the performance. We also invite you to read the program notes, which contain relevant biographical information about the composer, and other historical information about the music. Many concert-goers are convinced they enjoy the programs more by attending these sessions.
Upcoming Lunch & Learn events
Friday, October 16, 2020, with harpist Tonya Jilling
Friday, November 13, 2020, with Maestro William Intriligator
Friday, January 22, 2021, with The Helios Piano Trio
Friday, February 26, 2021, with clarinetists Anton Rist and Kellan Toohey
Friday, April 16, 2021, with pianist Michael Roll
Youth Music Education
The goals of our youth music education programs are three-fold:
- To expose students to the performance of professional musicians in classroom and concert settings;
- To provide interesting and unique musical programs that generate interest in music, history and relevant social issues; and
- To support the musical education being offered in the local school systems by bringing musical advancement to interested music students of all ages.
(Guest Artists in the Schools)
Guest artists visit classrooms to motivate, inspire, and teach students the virtue of discipline. By listening to and interacting with a professional artist, students will learn how to develop criteria for evaluating different career paths, as well as how to achieve successful performances.
(Conductor Of the Orchestra Leads)
Throughout each season, CSO’s conductor visits a variety of music, band, and orchestra classes. Teaching students from kindergarten through college the importance of choosing an instrument they love to play—and making it fun!—is the Conductor’s top priority during each visit. He also conveys personal lessons he’s learned from playing an instrument all throughout school, and shares the value of having those skills later in life.
When visiting ensembles, the Conductor will conduct and work with the students, providing feedback and tips to help them achieve greater musical results.
(Fine Arts Unlocking Student Excellence)
Recent research shows that skills developed in the music classroom can help students achieve in other areas, too. FUSE programs reach students outside the music classroom and help them make connections across the disciplines.
“Music in Words” writing contest
CSO’s annual writing contest invites 3rd and 4th grade students to write creative stories in response to music that will be performed at CSO’s April concert. Each finalist’s submission is displayed at the Cheyenne Civic Center during one of CSO’s concerts, and each winner’s story is printed in the audience’s program insert. During the concert, all student finalists and winners are awarded prizes on stage. (Participants in this program and their families are invited to attend the concert for free.)
“Art in Music” art contest
CSO challenges students in grades 7-12 to create works of art inspired by music the CSO performs each season. All submissions are displayed at the Cheyenne Civic Center, then judged by expert adjudicators. During one of CSO’s concerts, students are awarded prizes for their winning submissions on stage. (Participants in this program and their families are invited to attend the concert for free.)
(Youth Educational Symphony)
CSO’s annual YES! concerts bring nearly 3,000 fifth and sixth grade students from LCSD #1 and #2—as well as parochial, private and home-schooled students—to the Civic Center to enjoy a live symphony performance. Junior high and high school orchestra students also attend these educationally-geared concerts.
Take a SEAT
(Students Enjoy A Ticket)
Throughout the season, CSO distributes nearly 600 free tickets to area music students and raises funds to subsidize Masterpiece concert admission for students. We also further subsidize Matinee and Holiday concert tickets, hoping to encourage entire families to attend these family-friendly performances and help nurture a new generation of concert-goers.
Musical Instrument Petting Zoo
A wonderful opportunity for younger children to see, touch, and even try the instruments of the orchestra! The petting zoo is part of our matinee pre-concert activities, musical story times, and other events throughout the year.
CSO partners with local high school music programs to provide volunteer musicians, who demonstrate a variety of instruments provided by Niemann & Sons Music and WYOMusic.
Musical story time events are specifically tailored toward students in pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade, but we welcome children of all ages to come enjoy these free performances!
During these events, master storyteller Aaron Sommer will read a children’s storybook, accompanied by CSO musicians. It’s also not uncommon to find yourself singing, dancing, working on story-related crafts, and enjoying a Musical Instrument Petting Zoo, too. Recent story time performances have included “Ferdinand the Bull” with CSO ConcertMaster Stacy Lesartre, “The Three Little Pigs” with violin and cello, and “Peter and the Wolf” with woodwind quintet.