Hamilton County Schools partnership with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera will expand opportunities for children
Posted on 07/26/2018
Students in class working with CSOHamilton County Schools and The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera are excited to announce an official partnership that will increase fine arts programs available in the community’s public schools.

For many years, the education programs provided by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera have contributed to the enrichment of children in Hamilton County Schools. Each season the CSO String and Wind Quintets visit schools throughout Hamilton County to perform educational programs. Every February thousands of students attend the CSO’s annual Young People’s Concerts at the Tivoli Theatre. Special guest artists regularly visit local schools for masterclasses, and many CSO musicians also hold music teaching positions or teach music lessons to students across the county.

In 2015, the CSO established the Fletcher Bright Fund for Strings to continue support of the Strings in Schools program that was begun during the 2005/06 season. In addition to the general benefits of music education at the elementary school level, starting students early on string instruments is a critical factor for success in orchestra programs in later years.

“Providing string instruction at the elementary level builds on the importance of access to arts education in schools, and creates opportunities for students to learn an instrument when private or group lessons may not be available to them outside of school,” said Staci Spring, education, and community engagement manager for CSO. “It also strengthens existing middle school and high school orchestra programs, as well as the CSO Youth Orchestras.”

The CSO currently supports string programs at Hixson Elementary, Big Ridge Elementary, Alpine Crest Elementary, East Ridge Elementary, and Spring Creek Elementary. This fall, the CSO is excited to be bringing the Strings in Schools program into Barger Academy and Orchard Knob Elementary.

“The arts are a vital part of a well-rounded education, and the expansion of art programs was a key topic parents shared with the district in our community listening sessions last school year,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera is a very valuable resource for our schools, our children, and the community.”

“The CSO has been doing great work inBuses dropping of children for a concert at the Tivoli Hamilton County Schools for several years, through our Ensembles in Schools programs, Young People’s Concerts, Strings in Schools, and more,” said Samantha Teter, executive director of CSO. “We appreciate that Hamilton County Schools and Superintendent Johnson see the value of the arts in schools, and are honored to have an official partnership moving forward.”

About the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera
The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera continues to inspire, engage, and enrich the greater Chattanooga community as it enters its 86th season. In addition to Masterworks, Pops, Chamber, and special event concerts, the CSO is well known for its education and engagement events with the musicians of the CSO performing to more than 30,000 students each year throughout the greater Chattanooga Community. Conducted by Music Director Kayoko Dan, the CSO consists of top players from the Chattanooga area as well as from across the southern region.

Photo: Buses line up to drop off students for the CSO Young Peoples Concert