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Orchestrating Kids Through Classics

“The Symphony Orchestra was a great performance. I bet each and every one of them practiced for years and all that work paid off. My favorite thing is the sixth-grade soloist from Fiske when she played the violin. My favorite instrument in the orchestra was the violin. I liked how the music went from past to present. The longest piece of music was the Star Wars theme song. It seemed like 10 whole minutes. I wish I could see it again. It was a great performance!”

-Alexis
Mrs. Bean’s third-grade class
Bridge School

Drawing by
Olivia Maliszewski,
inspired by
Orchestrating Kids

Orchestrating Kids Through Classics

Orchestrating Kids Through Classics“The Lexington Symphony is the best orchestra I have ever heard. When they played the Star Wars theme it sounded like the movie!  Right before the song Darth Vader walked out!  One of the other surprises was a sixth grader coming out to play Mozart while wearing a wig that looks like Mozart’s hair.  Some of the composers they taught us about were Haydn, Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart just to name a few. One of the things I liked most was how they taught us about the evolution of musical instruments. That’s why I like the Lexington Symphony Orchestra.”                                -Maya Mudgal
Mrs. Weeks’ third-grade class
Bowman School

“Sitting there, I can tell you the kids were totally engaged. The program was so well orchestrated to grab them at the beginning and take them on a journey through time. I hope this can continue in the future as it is a phenomenal program for all involved. I loved it myself!”   -Parent

Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™

Lexington Symphony’s celebrated educational program Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ is not a classical “eat your broccoli” concert for kids. It’s an original program with a fresh approach to listening and learning, and kids love it! It starts with a visit by four of our musicians to your school, where your students learn about the instrument families of the orchestra. A few weeks later, you and your students come to Cary Hall, Lexington to hear the whole orchestra led by conductor Jonathan McPhee, winner of the Gabriel Award for his work with kids. The one-hour dramatic concert takes the audience on a tour of  the orchestra from its very beginnings 500 years ago through present-day Star Wars, with many creative flourishes along the way.

The excitement of live performance is at the core of Orchestrating Kids. Designed specifically for third and fourth graders who are at the age where kids choose instruments to play, its overarching goal is to personalize and demystify the classical concert experience while introducing the diverse sounds of an orchestra in an engaging way. By showing how orchestral sound has radically changed over time, the program encourages active listening, the development of a critical approach to new information and ideas, and participation and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles spanning 500 years of music history.

Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ 2014-2015 Season

Educators: Sign up now to reserve a spot for next season’s Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ program! Early sign-up is encouraged. Classroom visits will take place during January 2015. The concert schedule is as follows (please note our new location for 2015!):

Performances at Burlington High School, Burlington MA:
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, 9:30 am Sold Out!
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, 11:30 am
Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, 9:30 am Sold Out!

Snow dates: Feb. 5 and 6

Please contact us at 781-523-9009 for information about ticket prices and availability. Schools are responsible for bus fees. If you require an access accommodation, please call two weeks prior to the concert date and we will assist you with your request.

Download the OKTC Brochure

Learn more about the program:


OKTC in Framingham Public Schools

The Lexington Symphony took Orchestrating Kids Through Classics(TM) on the road in June of 2011 thanks to a generous grant from the Bose Corporation, assistance from Mary Kiely and the Framingham Council for the Arts, and the dedication of Lexington Symphony flute player Cindy Moore, who teaches music at Barbieri Elementary School in Framingham. In 2011, the Symphony performed the program for more than 700 students at Framingham’s Memorial Hall. Lexington Symphony traveled to Framingham again in February of 2012 and January of 2013, and will continue its partnership with the Framingham public schools and other schools in that area in 2014.

Click here to see video of the event.
Click here or click here to see photos of the event.
Click here to learn more about how this event came about.


Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ is generously sponsored in part by Shire HGT, the Lexington Education Foundation, Target Corporation, and People’s United Bank.

Lexington Education Foundation


“What a fantastic event yesterday!  And what an enormous benefit for all of our 3rd graders. The program was wonderful – a nice mix of talking and playing with the added bonus of those great monks, the ringing cellphone, the 6th grader playing and Darth Vader.  The kids were interested and hooking them with the Star Wars theme in the beginning was smart.  I spoke to some of the third grade teachers at Hastings and they agreed that it was a wonderful performance and very enriching for the children, “some of whom will never again see this type of performance.”  They’d like to see it again.  They also mentioned that sending the Symphony quartets out to the school ahead of time sparked the childrens’ interest, and had them looking for “their players” yesterday on the stage.  I think 3rd grade is a perfect age for this, as they choose string instruments in 4th grade, and then visit the BSO in 5th grade, so it’s a nice introduction and then continuum.  A wonderful program, a wonderful use of LEF grant money and community resources – our Symphony!  I’d be happy to help if you do it again next year.”

– Parent, LEF Board member

Some photos from OKTC 2011: