DELAND – “It’s not an experience they can duplicate at home,” said Monty Musgrave, Volusia County Schools’ performing arts specialist. The not-at-home experience is called Youth Experiencing Symphony and it brings Volusia students into professional music venues to see ballet, symphony or opera at no charge to the student.
Through YES, “Students get exposed to live symphonic music and ballet. They get to see musicians, costumes, set design and lighting,” said Musgrave. The Daytona Beach Symphony Society has been sponsoring YES since 1994. Musgrave noted that DBSS supplies 250 tickets and they arrange transportation. Many schools throughout the county offer the tickets to all students, first come first served.
Jeanne Hill, a civics teacher at Galaxy Middle School in Deltona has coordinated her school’s YES events for at least 10 years. Hill said the program is popular and averages 40 Galaxy students each time.
Many of the Galaxy students who attend take music in school; some take dance classes outside of school. Hill talks with students before each trip about proper concert etiquette and dress. After her students experience a live ballet or a symphony for the first time they usually want to go again.
“It’s a higher level of music. (Students) appreciate it and are amazed at the talent it takes to perform it or create it,” said Hill.
During intermission, Hill talks with the students again, telling them to close their eyes and listen.
“Try to hear all the different instruments. They come out (of the show) talking about how they can pick out the bassoons or the upright bass. You can tell on their faces they really enjoy it.”
At some events students have an additional opportunity to talk with one or two musicians. Hill said students’ questions are always well thought out. “It’s nice for them to see what life might look like as a professional musician.
“I think this kind of opportunity gets them to see education is more than, ‘I read this book and I answered this question.’ It opens their eyes. I’m so appreciative of the Daytona Beach Symphony Society for giving us this opportunity.”
The mission of the Daytona Beach Symphony Society is to bring the excitement of classical and modern music, dance and opera to the widest possible audience. We inspire and encourage the students of Volusia County to develop an appreciation for music. By bringing the highest quality national and international symphonic orchestras and soloists to Volusia County we generate an awareness and appreciation of music, dance and opera for all residents and visitors.
Crystal Romanyszyn, Director of Development
Daytona Beach Symphony Society
P.O. Box 2
Daytona Beach, FL 32115