A Program of Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute
and the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra

Carnegie Hall Link Up is FSO’s live, interactive program for third through fifth graders featuring active student participation and music making.  Link Up includes year-long classroom musical learning using award winning Carnegie Hall provided resources and support from FSO musicians and trainers.

“The Carnegie Link Up program is the FSO program I’m most proud of.  This is a collaboration between the schools and the FSO with specific educational goals, and excellent musical instruction.  It’s designed so that students aren’t passive consumers of orchestral music, but instead become performers–playing, singing, dancing along with the orchestra.  It is such a thrilling thing to be a part of.”  FSO Music Director Charles Latshaw’s words capture the audience impact of the Link Up program.

A video highlight of the 2020 concert, The Orchestra Sings.

In 2022, the Link Up program will feature The Orchestra Moves, with students learning about organized musical movement through the works of composers from Mozart to Marquez.  Using Carnegie Hall’s rich digital resources and individual support with FSO’s Link Up leaders, teachers prepare students to participate in the March 1 concerts.

FSO joins the Carnegie Hall Link Up community of over 300 orchestras world-wide and the only regional Link Up orchestra.   Carnegie Hall creates and provides the script, the score, and the animated visual presentations. FSO invests all the resources to manage the program and to present orchestra performances each year.  Teachers dedicate class time and instructional expertise, and schools furnish student transportation.  Donors provide significant financial support to underwrite the concerts.  Each musician in FSO chooses to take part in a daytime service that requires time away from work.

Link Up supports children’s musical learning through educator professional development, on-line and site support, and creative compositional activities for students   2021-2022 marks the ninth year of our participation.  In the past eight years FSO Link Up has reached over 21,000 third, fourth and fifth graders,  most of whom had never experienced a live orchestra concert.

In 2019, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra’s Link Up program was honored with the Viola Award for Community Impact. “Link Up is a powerful orchestral engagement program because of the quality of musical content and presentation, the inclusion of students as active audience participants and as guest performers, and the dynamic scope and impact of the program,” states Mary Nebel, FSO Education Chair.

A non-revenue generating performance like Link Up requires a significant investment of resources for an orchestra to launch.  FSO is one of only a few of the participating Link Up orchestras that does not charge a per pupil fee for attendance at the concert.

The investment makes concrete the mission of the organization:  To enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music

Through Link Up, the orchestra and the children are united in song, dance and performance as we join together, becoming a part of the community of music makers.  Link Up teachers and schools, FSO Education staff and administration are committed to sustaining this experience and adapting the program to accommodate current limitations.

Link Up is made possible this year through grants from the Arizona Community Foundation, APS, and individual donors.

Side by Side with the FSO.  This year’s Masterworks Side by Side Concert, January 21, will feature both high school string students and young violin students from the NAU Community Music and Dance Academy performing alongside members of the FSO.   Local string teachers in collaboration with Music Director collaborated to prepare the students.  The project supports the development of orchestra members of the future and connects FSO to these rising stars.

FSO Concert Connections. (On hiatus during the pandemic.)  This program features classroom to concert arts integration activities highlighting FSO programs developed with teachers to connect learning to orchestra performances.  FSO plans to reinstate its program of musical learning and concert attendance for secondary classes. These programs have included school collaborations with a team of teachers guiding student learning all subjects through musical connections, with students creating original work and attending FSO concerts.  FSO guest artists visit classrooms for live performances that highlight the concert program.  Earlier examples include collaborations with FSO guest artists to connect with individual schools as well as school and community programs, as well as a project for adjudicated youth.  Concert Connections feature interactive listening and individual creative projects, tied to classroom learning in multiple subjects. FSO also collaborates with Flagstaff agencies serving at-risk youth to sponsor concert attendance.