Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Presents “Are We There Yet” A Concert Series For Students
Niswonger Foundation Provides Twelfth Regional Young People’s Symphony Concert at NPAC
More than 2200 students from Northeast Tennessee elementary schools attended a performance of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, in Greeneville, on November 5. Sponsored by the Niswonger Foundation, the primary goal of this annual program is to provide the opportunity for children to see a quality orchestral performance. Each year, the concerts are specially designed as a teaching/learning experience. The Niswonger Foundation supports the belief that developing an appreciation for the arts is an important aspect of becoming an educated person.
The 2014 program took students on an “Indiana Jones” style adventure with Indie’s distant cousin Tennessee Smith. With a theme of “Are We There Yet?” the musical adventure took the students on a cultural and geographic virtual journey. The students were first introduced to England, with the music of Handel’s “Royal Fireworks,” then to France with “Sous le Ciel de Paris,” on to Russia with Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slav.” As the students echoed “Are we there yet?, ” the orchestra proceeded on to the Czech Republic with Smetana’s “The Moldau,” to Venezuela with Romero’s “Fugo con Pajarillo” and finally back to the United Stated with John Williams’ “Raiders of the Lost Ark” theme song. Curriculum materials, including CD’s and lesson plans, were provided to teachers in advance of the concert so students could be prepared for the concepts introduced during the live concert experience.
The special guest performers for this concert were a Drum and Dance Ensemble from Austin East High School, Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra was under the direction of Maestro James Fellenbaum.
The Niswonger Foundation was established in 2001 by Greeneville businessman and philanthropist Scott M. Niswonger. The Foundation’s mission is “To create opportunities for individual and community growth through education and other sustainable projects.” The primary programs are the Scholarship and Leadership Program, and the School Partnership Program. Additional information regarding the work of the Foundation is available at www.niswongerfoundation.org.