LO in Our Community: Making Connections

Education and outreach events crowd the calendar here at the LO and, with little fanfare, provide a potent energy to our organization. When Teddy, the musicians or the LO staff members are working with students, other arts organizations or community groups, our purpose of making connections and building Louisville’s musical identity is a driving force.

Here are some of the programs from the 2016-2017 Season:

  • Abrams’ Kids – Teddy’s mentoring project for high school musicians meets monthly
  • Teddy’s Kids – A conducting program for elementary school musicians that meets twice to prepare youngsters to conducting the LO at a MakingMUSIC education concert.
  • Arts & Healing with Kentucky One – LO musicians performing in a variety of locations throughout Kentucky One healthcare facilities from December to February
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters School to Work Mentors – Three senior staff members participating monthly with students from Shawnee High School
  • #musicplaysback – Teddy, LO violinist Rob Simonds and musician Jecorey Arthur performed for the holidays at the Frazier Rehab Center, the Center for Women and Families, the Americana Community Center and at the Shawnee Boys and Girls Club (in collaboration with Dare To Care)
  • In-school masterclasses – Teddy regularly schedules visits to work with school orchestras, bands and choirs. Recent visits have included Fairdale High School, Westport Middle School, Brown School, Floyd Central High School, New Albany High School, Ballard High School; WES-TEC/Blue House and upcoming visits to Catholic Charities ESL School, Oldham County High School and the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS).
  • Collaborations – Whether oriented to promotions, community service or performing, LO partnerships this season have included work with Frazier History Museum, CirqueLouis, Dare to Care, Mom’s Music, and WES-TEC/Blue House in addition to Kentucky Opera and Louisville Ballet.
  • MakingMUSIC education concerts – continuing since 1940, the LO performs for school children from across the Metro engaging more than 10,000 4th and 5th graders each year.
  • LO in-school ensembles – performing  for all 92 Jefferson County Public Schools elementary schools over the course of 2 seasons, small ensembles present carefully prepared educational concerts designed to support curriculum demands of 4th and 5th graders.

We are currently in the planning phase of a project with “Blessings in a Backpack” in conjunction with Mom’s Music as part of our #musicplaysback program. Every child in the program will receive a school-quality recorder plus a lesson from Teddy Abrams on how to play the instrument.

Abrams’ Kids are required to develop a music-based social service project as part of their participation. Currently these high school students:

  • …have performed for Black History Month at a local church whose history integrated with the Underground Railroad
  • …plan to play for middle school students and at several retirement communities
  • …are creating curriculum to help middle school students connect with and interpret classical music
  • …are hosting a concert for family and friends featuring music performed by school ensembles in the state music competition
  • …are working to modify an empty classroom into a multi-purpose performance space at their school

Deanna Hoying, Director of Education and Outreach, manages these programs and more. Working in conjunction with Teddy, LO musicians and the rest of the LO staff, Hoying juggles myriad events and the information to support each. She’s also constantly “on the lookout” for new ways to bring the LO to the community. For more information about any of these programs, please contact Deanna Hoying at dhoying@louisvilleorchestra.org.