Youth Concerts Week a Tremendous Success! | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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Youth Concerts Week a Tremendous Success!

Orchestra Stage with pink and purple lighting. Thousands of kids sit in audience

For one week every season, the Kalamazoo Symphony welcomes a very different audience into the concert hall.

Buses line up outside, and teachers grapple with getting thousands of students into a single-file line. Eyes go wide as students enter the concert hall, some for the first time, slowly finding their way to fill in row after row of seats. Teachers eagerly encourage whispers and hushed voices, but the growing excitement inevitably leads to a consistent crescendo of conversations with friends and classmates.

It’s Youth Concerts!

An integral part of the Kalamazoo Symphony’s mission to serve our community through outstanding musical listening and learning experiences, Youth Concerts bring over 11,000 students, parents, and teachers into the concert hall…for free.

Not only do students get to experience the magic of live symphonic music, but the concert is paired with an in-class curriculum specifically designed to prepare students for the concert. The curriculum is created in partnership with local teachers, Symphony musicians, and our incredible Education & Community Engagement team, ensuring the program is designed for community students by community educators.

The statistics say it all:

  • 3 Days
  • 6 Concerts
  • 92 Schools
  • Over 11,000 Students, Parents, & Teachers!

To the musicians, donors, staff, teachers, and parents who help make these concerts possible: Thank You!

From the Students:

Dear Mr. Brier and KSO, 

I loved your performance and I think it was cool to be there! This was a really good field trip. I liked the Darth Vader song because he is my favorite character I the movie. When the drums were played really fast, it sounded amazing!

Thank you for making my day awesome. 




Dear Mr. Brier and KSO, 

Thank you for performing to us tonight! My favorite songs were Leia and Throne Room and the End Credits. I loved the sound of the harp. It was really pretty! I play the piano and I like to make up my own songs.

Maybe I will be in the orchestra someday! You did a very good job, and you are so talented! 

I love you guys all! And I mean you! 




From the Teachers:

This program gives students access to live music that they likely may not experience otherwise.

They learn so much about the different elements of music, the different instruments available. It piques their interest in the arts!

- St. Michael Lutheran School, Portage 


My students loved seeing all the instruments. We had the KSO Brass Quintet out to our school a few weeks before the performance, and my students loved seeing musicians they knew and had interacted with when they played onstage.

- Spring Valley Elementary, Kalamazoo Public Schools 

Photography By: Colin Howe Photography
African American girl smiles in seat at concert hall Concert Stage with full orchestra and contrasting red and blue lighting design Young student smiles coming off of bus

Tags: Community Engagement, concert, Music Education, Symphony Education, Youth Concerts