The Pennsylvania Philharmonic kicks off its second season by looking to spread the gift of music to a younger audience. The Philharmonic will hold a series of education concerts at area schools, hoping to introduce kids to music in places where they might not be exposed to the arts.
“What we are about is engaging,” conductor Michael Butterman said. “We want, in particular with our education concerts, is to be the catalyst — that kind of a spark — that will carry a student from being a member of an audience to being someone who wants to engage with music as a creator.”
Butterman, who is set to debut with the Philharmonic on Saturday, will lead the in-school performances in the Red Lion, Boyertown, Bethlehem, Pottsown, and Pottsgrove school districts.
“When I go into these schools, I will ask, ‘Who here is hearing or seeing a live orchestra for the first time?’ And, in many places, it’s 90 percent of the hands,” he said. “We know, first of all, that we are providing an experience that they are not getting — for the most part — in other places.
“I find that [schools] are very well-prepared for these concerts,” he said. “We prepare materials that go out to teachers ahead of time and it seems like they are making very good use of these. The bottom line is that we get a sense that we make a difference. When we go there, we really feel a sense of appreciation that this is something special for these school districts, and that it is an exciting event for them … one that we hope will make a lasting impact.”
To hear Jennifer Lynn’s full interview with Michael Butterman of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Press Play at the top of the page.