Education & Community
Our educational programs for young people are a hallmark of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra's mission creating strong, more well informed generations of Lowcountry residents. We believe it is part of our mission to expose young people to classical music, instruments and the stories behind the music. The CSO reaches more than 16,000 school-age children each year through our in-school services and Young People's Concerts. The CSO’s commitment to creating enduring relations with area schools is an artistic priority demonstrated through free or low charge programs and services to children, teachers and families who may not have access to traditional performance venues.
In fact, numerous studies reveal that children who participate in music programs show improved spatial-temporal skills, enhanced academic performance, and better social skills. According to a 2001 College Entrance Examination Board study, students with coursework or experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal section of the SAT and 41 points higher on the math; those who participated in music appreciation scored 63 and 44 points higher, respectively, than those students with no arts participation. A 1999 study from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies showed that gains from music were just as great or greater for students of low socioeconomic status as for privileged students.
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra will perform in small ensembles almost 100 times in 50 schools in five counties at no cost to the school districts. The time and resources are 100% donated by the Charleston Symphony and its supporters.
In addition, the CSO performs to approximately 6,000 students at the "Young People's Concerts" at the Gaillard Auditorium and Charleston Southern University. The entire Charleston Symphony Orchestra performs for the young people transported by their schools to enjoy a low cost concert.
“I just wanted to thank you so much for getting such talented musicians to come to Morningside MS and making this experience possible for the kids here. My students really enjoyed the visit from the CSO trio and I think it opened up their eyes. It was a great experience for everyone involved and I just wanted to convey that to you! Thanks for all that you do!” Erik Ridgway
Director of Bands, Morningside Middle School (North Charleston, SC)
“The woodwind quintet visited Goodwin Elementary School on Thursday, and were FANTASTIC!!! The "Instrument Olympics" were cute, and yet allowed the students to actively participate in a series of listening experiences and physics experiments. Each member introduced their instrument, explaining how sound is created and telling a little of "its' story". The excerpts they modeled for the children were fun, and several, many of the students could recognize. Thanks again for you and your staffs' dedication to the arts and public education. I even had a second grader after school tell me how Great !!! the symphony was, and that her favorite instrument was the "big red one". Put one "notch" in your belt for at least one future double-reed player.” Rich Moon, Goodwin Elementary School (North Charleston, SC)
The CSO provides artistic leadership by advancing the music with its ensemble of curious, inventive, high skilled musicians committed to creating programs that connect deeply with its audiences. Included are chamber music performances in intimate settings as well as collaborative productions with area organizations and colleges that foster the arts in general.
Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry