The symphony for students – a tour of our favorites

Sep 29, 2017

Travel Notes

A student’s first encounter with the symphony can be a defining moment – and the music is only part of it. When a student attends the symphony, she’s taking it all in. The venue, with its elegant lobby, expansive stage and tiers of balconies. The performers with their poise and polish. The audience in their formal attire and sophisticated demeanor. And then there’s the performance itself – most likely the most impressive your students have ever experienced. For all these reasons and more (Orchestra tours! Clinics! Meet and greets!), we love introducing students to the symphony. Here are four of our favorite symphonies to share with students:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Beyond its hometown advantage, we treasure our relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) – we’ve been bringing student groups here for more than 35 years, and been their top producer since 2013. But that’s nothing compared to the history of the CSO itself, considering it’s now celebrating its 126th season. Not only are student groups welcome to attend performances, they’re also invited to open rehearsals to observe a complete rehearsal with the musicians, guest artists and conductors, followed by a question and answer session. 

New York Philharmonic

Housed in the iconic Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic is the nation’s oldest symphony orchestra, founded in 1842. Students will be awed by the sheer size of David Geffen Hall with it’s seating for nearly 3,000. The New York Phil hosts a variety of student classes, talks and workshops – from sectional rehearsals with your group to clinics with your full ensemble. Tours of Lincoln Center are also available, which are fascinating as the center is also home to the New York City Ballet and Metropolitan Opera. The New York Phil also offers student performance opportunities at festivals throughout the year.

Boston Symphony Orchestra & Boston Pops

A historical symphony in a historical city. Boston’s Symphony Hall opened its doors in 1900 and houses both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops – which means your group has access to even more sensational performances. Students can experience open rehearsals, master classes, private workshops and Q/A time with musicians, giving them a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a future career and passion.

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Another world from our first three favorites is the Los Angeles Philharmonic housed in the striking and modern Walt Disney Concert Hall. Curved stainless steel, Alaskan yellow cedar and Delft china are some of the elements that make up this fairly recent musical addition to the LA skyline. Beyond the exceptional performances that students can experience are invited rehearsals and interactive sessions led by LA Phil Teaching Artists. A trip to the LA Phil also pairs perfectly the other world-class attractions in Southern California.

Symphony experiences are some of our favorite itinerary highlights, as they treat students to both world-class performances and once-in-a-lifetime education. For this reason, we include the symphony in our planning whenever we can as part of our customized, never off-the-shelf tours. Learn more about our planning process here or follow us on Facebook to take advantage of more tips, resources and recommendations.

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