The Florida Orchestra has announced that its fall educational youth concerts will take place on October 17 & 18, thanks to the support of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a grant from Stantec, an engineering, planning, landscape architecture and environmental services firm with offices throughout Florida. The grant provides underwriting support of four Florida Orchestra concert performances designed exclusively for Tampa Bay area Fourth and Fifth Graders in Hillsborough and Pinellas County public schools.
“We are so proud to be a sponsor of The Florida Orchestra Youth Concert program which provides wonderful opportunities for students from the Tampa Bay area and enriches our local community,” remarked Kim Gregoire, Director of U.S. Marketing for Stantec. Dave Kemper, Stantec Senior Principal in Tampa added, “We are dedicated to supporting exciting young talent. This is a great opportunity to engage with the youth of our area and support the performing arts as part of a dynamic educational foundation.”
This fall’s Youth Concert program will serve an estimated 8,000 children. “Last season our partnership with The Florida Orchestra included our first educational concert together at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to continue this unique educational experience that exposes so many kids to live orchestral music,” Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke said.
These youth concerts, performed twice at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, and again at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday, feature several exciting elements, including a live performance of the Be the Thunder theme, composed by Gregory Smith last fall for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Smith has produced several sports teams’ signature tunes as well as various works for Disney and numerous professional orchestras around the world. The Florida Orchestra participated in this ground-breaking partnership by recording the music; the final product was played during Tampa Bay Lightning home games last season.
Also composed by Smith, the centerpiece of next week’s Youth Concert program is The Orchestra Games. This work is an introduction to the capabilities of orchestral instruments, via an Olympics-style event. Various instruments of the orchestra "compete" in events like a marathon, a fast-note competition, the low-note limbo, etc. Guy Boucher, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be on hand at these concerts to talk to the students about achievement and teamwork, and will join the percussion section as an Orchestra Games judge, as the orchestra illustrates the parallels between athletics and music.
The Florida Orchestra’s 2012/13 season opens this weekend with concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Information about TFO can be found at www.floridaorchestra.org.