(Editor’s Note: The following info is from a press release issued by the Saugus Public Schools this week.)
Saugus Band students in seventh through 12th grade recently had a special opportunity to visit Symphony Hall in Boston to listen in on a rehearsal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO).
This trip was the first time most of the nearly 50 students had been to Symphony Hall or seen the renowned orchestra in person, said Band Director Justin Jones. “The trip provided the students with a unique cultural, historical and educational experience, Jones said.
Prior to the outing, students learned the history of Symphony Hall, which is considered to be one of the top concert halls in the world. They also learned about the career of Andris Nelsons, a world-famous conductor, and studied the background and history of the pieces they would be hearing during the rehearsal.
One of the pieces performed by the BSO was Hector Berlioz’s masterpiece Symphonie Fantastique. They also heard the American premiere of Concerto No. 2 for Violin (“Shards of Silence”) by the South Korea–born composer Unsuk Chin.
Jones said the students were impressed with the space and acoustics despite listening in from the second balcony. They were also amazed by how talented the musicians were, and they even got a chance to hear a few up close. “A couple of the pieces featured musicians playing off stage or even on the balcony where we were sitting, so we got a very cool up close experience with the musicians,” Jones said.
This is the third time Jones has taken a group of students to the BSO. Several years ago, he took high school students to see Yo-Yo Ma perform with the BSO. He also took fourth and fifth graders to the symphony’s children’s concert a few years back.
Jones gave special thanks to the Saugus Cultural Council. The program was supported in part by a grant from the Saugus Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. All students were able to attend free of charge.
“The students had a wonderful time, and many were inspired to go back one day to see the orchestra perform a full concert,” Jones said.