Online technology will allow students who cannot attend the National Symphony Orchestra’s full performance on Feb. 24 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset to still experience a portion of the day’s activities through an educational performance workshop broadcast on the Web.
The Center will offer the workshop—featuring a trio of National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) musicians—to a potential audience of more than 50,000 middle school, high school, and college students across Southern and Eastern Kentucky on-demand over the Internet using the Mediasite webcasting and knowledge management platform.
While The Center typically offers the streaming video technology to business customers as a way to catalog and distribute video training curriculum and other presentations, it seemed a perfect fit for allowing the NSO’s Somerset visit to live well beyond the Feb. 24 performance date, according to Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and events at The Center.
“The workshop performance will give middle and high school students a chance to apply what they have learned in class and see how music and science are connected in a fun and exciting way,” Winstead said. “This is truly a one-of-a-kind learning experience to be joined by the National Symphony Orchestra in class over the Internet and learn from three of the orchestra’s top musicians.”
The workshop, entitled “Connections: More Science and Music,” is routinely performed by NSO musicians Yvonne Caruthers, Natasha Bogachek, and Stephen Dumaine on stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The musicians are traveling with the 100-piece orchestra on tour of Kentucky as part of the 2011 American Residencies, and will be at The Center early on Feb. 24 to film the workshop in The Center’s video studio before a live audience of Southern Middle School students.
That ensemble performance will then be streamed online to school districts and Kentucky colleges and universities across the region.
The orchestra will begin its residency tour Feb. 17 and spend nine days in the Bluegrass, stopping in each of the state’s six congressional districts for full concert performances, outreach, and performance-related activities. Kentucky is the 21st state to host the residency program, proudly presented by Kentucky Arts Council in partnership with NSO.
The full 100-piece NSO will perform at The Center at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. Tickets for the performance are sold out.
“While we are committed to making great music in the state of Kentucky, we bring an equally important mission of music education,” NSO executive director Rita Shapiro said. “A program like ‘Connections,’ which combines music and science, is a great way to show how music is weaved into many parts of the teaching curriculum.”
Caruthers, who plays the cello and has been a member of the NSO since 1978, developed the multimedia presentation as a way to teach students about what goes on while musicians are performing on stage.
During the workshop, students will learn about the properties of sound waves, how endangered or threatened species are impacting musical instrument makers, and the intense athletic training it takes for musicians to hold and play their musical instruments.
Caruthers will be joined in The Center’s studio by Bogachek on violin and Dumaine on tuba. They will perform a selection of music during the “Music to Your Ears” portion of the presentation, including a lightning-speed performance by Bogacheck, who shows everyone how fast she can play the violin.
“Most students do not have a lot of exposure to live music at our level, and certainly not to symphonic music,” Caruthers, program host, said. “There are literally dozens of programs that NSO musicians will be performing all over the state of Kentucky while we are there.”
American Residencies are sponsored in part by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, as it has been since 1994. Duke Energy is the Supporting Sponsor of the 2011 NSO Kentucky Residency. The NSO American Residency concert in Lexington is supported in part by Windstream Communications. Since 2006, the chamber music and outreach performances have been supported by the Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund for chamber music and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.
Local media sponsors include Clear Channel Lake Cumberland and The Commonwealth Journal.
For more information on the NSO’s upcoming stay in Somerset, or to find out how to get a school, college, or university connected to the workshop broadcast, contact Dianna Winstead at The Center at 606-677-6000. Visit us online at centertech.com.