The Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Stark County District Library are once again joining forces to present music at the library’s ten district branch locations.
The “Listen at the Library” program was first designed and developed in 2006 through the cooperation of the orchestra and the library staff in order to introduce children to live orchestral music and instruments through storytelling and literature. In the first year of the programs conception it reached over 200 participants. Last year the program doubled that number with over 400 children and adults participating in the concerts.
“The last few years have seen an explosion of research conducted to understand how students learn and what can be done to improve student achievement. The research has shown the arts – especially music – may lead to improved performance on standardized testing,” stated Tena Wilson, executive director of the Stark County District Library. “But even more importantly, music opens doors to creative thinking and problem-solving. It engages students in multi-faceted learning experiences that more accurately reflect the world in which they live.”
The program is made possible through grants from the Target Corporation, Dominion Foundation and the Albert W. and Edith B. Flowers Charitable Foundation. Their 2014 grants allowed the program to include “Sundays with the Symphony” and expand from just a spring schedule to also include fall dates. “Sundays with the Symphony” give library patrons of all ages the opportunity to hear a small ensemble of musicians perform chamber-style music and often include a question and answer period with the musicians.
The first “Sunday with the Symphony” will be March 16, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the Main Library Branch and at 3:30 p.m. at the Plain Community Branch. The first “Listen at the Library” story time for children will be April 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the East Canton Branch and at 11:30 a.m. at the DeHoff Memorial Branch, then continue throughout the spring.
A complete schedule can be found at www.cantonsymphony.org/education/listen-at-the-library. The program will pick back up again in fall 2014, with dates and branch locations to be published over the summer.
“We really appreciate the support we have received from foundation and corporate funders,” said Lisa Boyer, Director of Education and Community Engagement of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. “Without their support, there’s a good chance many of these children and their families would never be exposed to the experience of classical music available right here in Canton.”
Boyer continued, “Listen at the Library connects the community with the world-class musicians playing in the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Many parents come up to me after the library program and say they didn’t realize Canton had an orchestra. They appreciate the willingness of the musicians to spend time with their young children. Most of them tell me they probably learned more than their kids!”
For those interested, tickets for the Canton Symphony Orchestra regular season start at a very affordable $15 for Casual, $18 for Pops and $25 for Masterworks concerts. There are senior, student and group discounts available. Dress is casual and concerts are appropriate for ages 8 and older.
Tickets and the full concert season schedule are available online at www.CantonSymphony.org, by calling 330-452-2094, at the box office window located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts (weekdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), or by walk-up. Some concerts do sell out in advance.
Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (at McKinley High School across from C.T. Branin Natatorium). Parking at McKinley High School is free. For more information, please visit www.CantonSymphony.org