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N.C. Symphony kicks off three-year residency in Edgecombe County

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  • The @ncsymphony came to Edgecombe County last week, launching a three-year residency. Learn what the program intends to do for students and the community here.
  • The @ncsymphony began its three-year residency in Edgecombe County last week with an education concert for all @ECPSchools_NC third, fourth and fifth graders. Learn more about the program here.
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On Oct. 26, the North Carolina Symphony performed one of its Education Concerts for around 800 Edgecombe County Public Schools students. Conductor David Glover announced the beginning of the symphony’s three-year residency in the county before playing to an energetic crowd of third, fourth, and fifth graders at Edgecombe Community College’s Keihin Auditorium.

Edgecombe students at the Keihin Auditorium in Tarboro, NC. Caroline Parker/EducationNC

The three-year residency in Edgecombe will bring in-depth musical programming to the county. The N.C. Symphony is working with the school district as well as community organizations to figure out how best to continue this musical exposure and create musical education experiences.

Glover took time to talk to students during the concert, introducing each section of the orchestra and giving the players time to demonstrate their instruments’ sound.

Each featured work is found in the NC Symphony’s “What Makes Music, Music?” student handbook, which is given to school districts prior to the Education Concert. This educational material explores musical themes of form, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, melody, and texture.

The symphony performed pieces from Beethoven and Mozart, as well as more contemporary composers, including a movement from Anthony Kelley’s “Spirituals of Liberation,” which debuted this summer at the symphony’s Juneteenth celebration. Anthony Kelley teaches composition at Duke University and grew up in Henderson, and he is the symphony’s current composer in residence.

At the conclusion of the concert, students stood up and sang Rosamond Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with the orchestra. Throughout the performance, students were waving their hands like the conductor, using their bodies to make the sounds of a rain storm with Glover, and clapping enthusiastically for their teachers and the symphony.

Glover told the students their relationship with the symphony didn’t have to stop after the concert.

“Today we learned about how composers can express themselves and their emotions in music. And you know this is something you can do too. And I hope many of you will try picking up an instrument, learning how to sing, or composing a piece for others to play.” 

David Glover, North Carolina Symphony conductor

The N.C. Symphony’s education programming targets a variety of ages. Ensembles in Schools, the Grow Up Great Music Discovery, and master classes with N.C. Symphony musicians will be part of the residency, as well as others to be developed with the schools input.

Ensembles in Schools brings members of the Symphony into schools, allowing for an interactive experience and shows students the fundamentals of music making and teamwork. The Music Discovery program is for early learners and demonstrates how music can tell a story.

This is the third iteration of the North Carolina Symphony residency program. Previously in Sampson County and Jones County, the program hopes “to develop a long-term, immersive presence over the next three years that will have a meaningful impact on the
lives of children and adults.”

Editor’s note: Funding from the Simple Gifts Fund of the Anonymous Trust makes this residency possible. The Anonymous Trust supports the work of EducationNC.

Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker is the director of rural storytelling and strategy for EducationNC. She covers the stories of rural North Carolina, the arts, STEM education and nutrition.