Opening Ears: New Music for Young Musicians


July 15, 2021

2:00pm Eastern/11:00am Pacific

Research tells us that early experiences – including what young musicians hear and perform – “stick,” but historically, repertoire for young musicians has not included contemporary works, especially not works from composers of diverse backgrounds. The National Orchestra Institute + Festival (NOI + F) at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center wants to change that. With grant support from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund at the League of American Orchestras, NOI + F has commissioned new works from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) composers for players as young as elementary school.  

In this session, free for League members, hear from project designers and commissioned composers, as well as youth orchestras directors who are partners in the project. Through lively discussion and interactive break-out sessions, project team members and participants will brainstorm how to expand repertoire for young musicians and how to document its impact on teachers, students, and the wider musical field. 

Speakers: Camille Jones, Founder and Executive Director of Voices Unheard; Richard Scerbo, Director of National Orchestral Institute + Festival; Elizabeth Schurgin, Executive Direction of DC Youth Orchestra Program; Derrick Senam Eugene Skye, Composer; Kenneth Whitley, Principal Conductor at DC Youth Orchestra Program; Randy Wong, President of Hawaii Youth Symphony 

Who Should Attend?



Please contact Member Services at member@americanorchestras.org.

This webinar is made possible by generous support from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the Cafriz Foundation, and the Maryland State Arts Council.  

Banner: National Orchestral Institute + Festival. Photo: Geoff Sheil

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