“A group of 60 to 80 young instrumentalists will have a chance to hone their skills this summer in a setting that is part urban, part sylvan, and very orchestral,” writes Peter Dobrin in Tuesday’s (3/12) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The two-week institute will be held at the Mann Center from July 15 to 26, the same time the Philadelphia Orchestra is in residence for concerts at the Fairmount Park amphitheater…. Students will … receive coaching from Philadelphia Orchestra members and School District of Philadelphia teachers. Attendance at the All City Orchestra Summer Academy at the Mann is free, and any district rising eighth to 12th grader can apply…. Among the goals … is to help students improve sight-reading skills and prepare orchestral music at a faster rate, and to work on musicality and producing a more mature sound…. Next summer and beyond, the project’s partners—the Mann, the orchestra, the school district, and the music nonprofit Project 440—hope to expand both the number of weeks and number of students…. There is a talent-spotting aspect to casting the net across the entire school district, says Joseph Conyers, the Philadelphia Orchestra acting associate principal double bassist, All City Orchestra director, and executive director of Project 440.” But, says Conyers, “If students just want to play for fun, let’s let them play for fun.”

Posted March 15, 2019