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The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Sponsored by the Niswonger Foundation Entertains more than 2000 Northeast Tennessee Students

More than 2000 students from Northeast Tennessee elementary schools attended two performances of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s “Young People’s Concert” at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, in Greeneville, on Tuesday, November 3.  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 theme for the 2015 program was “Picture This!” Designed for students in grades 3-5, this year’s performances explored the connection between music and visual arts using Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” as the anchor piece.  The program related music to the art movements of impressionism, cubism and the progression of classical art to “moving pictures.”   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.

Special guest appearances at this year’s concerts included vocal solos by two local teachers - Carla Renner, fourth grade teacher at Tusculum View Elementary and Jody Carter, music teacher at Doak Elementary.  Charlie Daniel, a professional cartoonist from Knoxville, visually illustrated an orchestral piece for the students. Artwork designed by local students was showcased during the performances.

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra was under the direction of Maestro James Fellenbaum, Resident Conductor. 

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