We are proud to feature this guest post by Jeremy Brimhall, Director of Education and Community Engagement, about how the San Antonio Philharmonic is offering concerts for students and young children.
Did you hear the news? San Antonio has a new, professional symphony orchestra—the San Antonio Philharmonic—and access to quality, live-music experiences for students and young children is a top priority.
Even before the San Antonio Symphony ceased operations in June 2022, a group of committed musicians in the orchestra had taken on the mantle of a new organization, programming several Classics and Family concerts this past spring at the First Baptist Church of San Antonio downtown. Originally called the MOSAS Performance Fund, the ensemble turned over a new leaf on August 24, rebranding as the San Antonio Philharmonic.
The San Antonio Philharmonic Serves the Community
The San Antonio Philharmonic has a clear vision for serving the community:
We all have an historic opportunity to re-invent what an orchestra in the 21st century can be—one that reflects the spirit of our time and place. We invite all to take part and feel the pride.
The Philharmonic envisions a San Antonio in which every resident has access to high-quality orchestral performances and educational opportunities that reflect the beautiful history, diversity, and culture of our community and beyond. We are seeking ways to involve new audiences in the transformative power of music.
Student performances are high on our list—music has the power to open minds and spirits for life.“History & Vision,” San Antonio Philharmonic
San Antonio Philharmonic Offers Student Performances
As an involved parent, one thing I surely want for my kids—both at school and in the community—is quality exposure to the arts, preferably without having to pay an arm or a leg for it. I know I’m not alone in this!
Among other art forms, I want my kids to have meaningful, educational experiences with music, including with symphonic music and its rich history and tradition, vast palette of instruments and sound colors, and the incredible teamwork it takes to put it all together on stage—a true learning experience for us all! The recently announced Young People’s Concerts of the San Antonio Philharmonic are designed to be just such a formative experience.
Following in the 80-year tradition of similarly-named, award-winning presentations by the previous San Antonio Symphony, these free-admission concerts for upper elementary grades engage students from around South Texas with carefully-crafted programming of symphonic music and narrative that is targeted to the age group, richly cross-curricular, multi-sensory and interactive, supported by robust educational materials, representative of diversity and diverse backgrounds, and aligned to state teaching objectives.
Young People’s Concerts for 2022–23
The San Antonio Philharmonic’s programming for Young People’s Concerts for the 2022–2023 season and academic year is designed to open minds and spirits.
Scheherazade: A Literary Adventure, in September–October 2022, is a reading and language arts-themed program that connects tales from 1,001 Arabian Nights to long-beloved symphonic music they inspired.
The Planet Earth
The Planet Earth!, in November 2022, will explore topics of Earth science through well- and lesser-known works, including the planet’s “active surface and core, amazing diversity of life, landforms and climate regions, protective magnetic field and more.”
A Celebration of Black Composers
Then there’s A Celebration of Black Composers in January 2023, which will highlight important works and composers whose voices have long been underappreciated and marginalized.
Billy the Kid
In February 2023, Billy the Kid is an exploration of the romanticized existence of the southwestern cowboy in the mid-1800s and the disputed life of Billy the Kid, told through the picturesque music of American composer Aaron Copland.
Students attending this program are invited to participate in the 49th Annual Paint to Music Contest of the San Antonio Symphony League, a nationally-recognized program enhancement though which students create works of visual art inspired by specific works of music; winning artwork is then projected on screen above the orchestra at the concert.
And finally, in March 2023, there’s Link Up: The Orchestra Moves, a collaboration with the Weill Music Institute of Carnegie Hall in New York City for a concert experience built entirely on audience participation; with months-long preparation, attending students are invited to actually make music with the orchestra from their seats in the audience.
A total of 36 Young People’s Concert performances are to be held at nine high school auditoriums in San Antonio this season, accounting for over 40 percent of the Philharmonic’s offerings. Young People’s Concerts are open to traditional public school, charter schools, and private schools. Select performances are also available to homeschool groups and individual families.
Classical Music at San Antonio Public Library Branches
In addition to the Young People’s Concert program, San Antonio Philharmonic musicians will be visiting all 29 San Antonio Public Library branches on Saturdays this spring for free-admission children’s presentations that include a mini-performance as well as a chance to see an instrument up close and learn about how it works.
Get to know one of our professional musicians and about the work they do, how they chose their instrument, and more. Bring your questions—and don’t be shy! This program is designed for children but easily enjoyed by the whole family.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Jeremy Brimhall, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the San Antonio Philharmonic, and Peter Rubins, Vice President of the board of the San Antonio Philharmonic, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on September 6, 2022 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Jeremy Brimhall describes himself as a passionate advocate for arts education and a tireless supporter of the search for new ways to engage young audiences through classic art. Prior to serving for over a decade as Director of Education and Community Engagement for the San Antonio Symphony in Texas, Brimhall performed as a musician of the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Toluca, Mexico, where he resided for six years. Having married into a Mexican family, and being in the process of raising two bilingual boys in South Texas, Brimhall has a keen interest in the layered social dynamics that intersect Mexican, Mexican-American, other Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups in the Southwest, and how music can bring everyone together.
Peter Rubins is Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he teaches music. He arrived in San Antonio to begin his long work history with the Symphony in 1996. Along the way Peter has served at multiple institutions in a variety of roles that include executive boards, and committees for finance, negotiations & searches. By late January 2022 his role at this non-profit was absorbing his free time.
As for concert experience, Peter’s work includes decades of professional symphonic, ballet, chamber, musical theater and opera performances. He has performed with major ensembles such as the Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. You can hear him through Pittsburgh Symphony recordings on Sony Classical, Telarc, and Exton.
Peter earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin. One thing he is very happy about is being able to explore the National Parks with family.
Read More About the San Antonio Philharmonic
- “San Antonio Philharmonic rises from symphony’s ashes,” Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, August 24, 2022
- “New San Antonio Philharmonic seeks to fill void left by symphony’s demise,” Wendy Lane Cook, San Antonio Report, August 24, 2022
- “San Antonio Symphony Musicians Will Return as San Antonio Philharmonic,” Kathleen Petty, San Antonio Magazine, August 24, 2022
- “Musicians of city’s dissolved symphony reform as San Antonio Philharmonic, launch new season,” Sanford Nowlin, San Antonio Current, August 24, 2022
Read More About Classical Music for Students
- “‘Explore Opera!’ with OPERA San Antonio,” Madeline Elizondo, San Antonio Charter Moms, July 8, 2021
- “Classical Music,” Troy Peters, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 4, 2020
- “Take Your Family to the San Antonio Symphony’s Halloween Spooktacular,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 25, 2018
- “Opera San Antonio Presents ‘La Traviata’: Young People Encounter Grand Opera,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 13, 2018
- “Opera in Schools: A School Visit with OPERA San Antonio Education Programs,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 2, 2017
- “Explore Opera! with OPERA San Antonio at the San Antonio Public Library,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 17, 2017