In 2014, The Jackson Symphony hired a new Artistic Director and Conductor, Peter Shannon. Maestro Shannon instituted a new educational outreach program, the Open Rehearsal Program. The goal of the Open Rehearsal Program was designed to meet the commitment of The Jackson Symphony that EVERY student in Jackson-Madison County will have access to hear live orchestral music during our season. We have students from the Jackson-Madison County School District, Private Schools, Home Schooled Students, Special Needs Youth, and surrounding counties.
Each season, three to four concerts are selected to host an Open Rehearsal, two classical concerts and one pops concert. At the Friday morning rehearsal, students arrive by 9:30 am and are seated in the audience area. They have an opportunity to hear from one or two of our professional musicians on how they got into music and their path to where they are today. The students are able to ask questions of the musicians and learn about the hard work it takes to become a professional musician. Whenever possible, we do a short segment with our guest artists. At 10:00 am, Peter Shannon comes out and talks with the students about what they are going to see and hear. Then, for the next hour the students see the work the musicians put into making quality music. Currently, this program serves approximately 3,000 students each year.
As we look for new ways to reach out to the schools and students, we are in the planning stages of live-streaming two Open Rehearsals each season. Having heard from the schools that the cost of busing students to and from our rehearsal location and the amount of time students are away from instruction multiple times each school year is a hardship, we are hopeful that this will help. The live-streamed concerts will be classical music rehearsals. The April Pops Concert will not be live-streamed, as this concert is also part of the Jackson Symphony League’s program Color of Music. The Color of Music program takes two pieces of music into the schools where students then create visual art after listening to one of the two pieces of music.
If you are interested in bringing your students to an Open Rehearsal, please contact our office by calling 731-427-6440. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and schedule your participation.