“Terri O’Neil, executive director of the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra … says, ‘You hear that only gray-haired people go to the orchestra, but it really is not true,’ ” writes Kim Wade in Saturday’s (1/27) Savannah Morning News (Georgia). “ ‘We are working really hard to diversify because we have got to cultivate the next generation to appreciate music,’ [says O’Neil]. There are several community outreach projects the Philharmonic sponsors … like the popular Picnic in the Park or their Philharmonic in the Streetz events, where they bring free performances to the community…. Another outreach program they sponsor and fund is an education initiative called Orchestra Lab [in which] professional musicians visit local schools in the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools system for sectional workshops, mentorships and master classes. They even have visiting professional musicians go into the schools for these master classes, too.” Says O’Neil, “We know that students who study music and play music do much better academically. And for those students who perform badly and then start taking music, we know that music enables them to improve in their other subjects. When you see it live and in person, you can see they are making a difference.”

Posted January 29, 2018