As a second-year pilot initiative developed by the San Antonio Symphony Board Education Advisory Committee, the Symphony organization will partner with two area high school instrumental ensembles during the 2017-2018 season and academic year. Through this Residency Program, Symphony musicians make regular visits to the partner campuses during designated ensemble periods for intensive mentoring sessions with students. Musicians will also conduct master classes for student participants and one or more chamber music performances at the campuses in addition to coaching student chamber groups and performing alongside students in culminating “side-by-side” concerts at the end of the year.  Partner ensemble directors at the Residency campuses have first opportunity this fall to reserve for Open Rehearsals for Students and Free Student Group Tickets to attend evening Classics concerts at the Tobin Center.  In addition to providing free admission to these events, the Symphony (thanks to generous funding) reimburses partner campuses up to 50% of the transportation costs for each related field trip.

TPR article and interview about the San Antonio Symphony High School Residency Program

Beginning in May 2016, high school instrumental ensemble directors in Bexar County were asked to submit applications to the program for the 2016-2017 season and academic year.  Two applications were accepted from the total of 32 that were received, representing 23 high schools.  The following were 2016-2017 Residency partners and will continue as 2017-2018 partners:

John Marshall High School Orchestra – John Thornton, Director
Thomas Jefferson High School Band – Roger Duran, Director

Goals for the Residency partnership are to enhance the learning of students involved in instrumental programs, inspire them to continue participating, support local school music programs and develop meaningful connections between students and the San Antonio Symphony.  Students involved in high school music programs have been found not only to have a much higher graduation rate, but also have higher college attendance and even college graduation rates.  Consequently, another long term goal of the program is for the Symphony to have a significant impact on students through regular interaction such that they will stay involved in their instrumental ensembles, stay in school, graduate and attend college.

The Symphony is looking to expand and rotate the Residency Program to additional high school campuses in future seasons.  For information about how you can become involved and support this cause, please contact Jeremy Brimhall, Director of Education at (210) 554-1006 or brimhallj@sasymphony.org.