Students & audience members to learn about music history & performance together
Plymouth, NH – The New Hampshire Music Festival is excited to introduce New Vibrations, a mentoring program that pairs students with Festival audience members to learn more about how an orchestra works. The first group of students and mentors will attend the Festival’s Family Concert on July 26 at 10 a.m. at the Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth, New Hampshire and will be led by 10 volunteers from the neighboring towns of Holderness and Ashland. Future groups will attend the classics concerts on either Thursday or Saturday throughout the summer season.
Liz Cody of Ashland, New Hampshire, came up with the idea for the program as a way to bring in a younger demographic to Festival performances.
“I was at a concert and thinking about how inspired I felt by the music, how transformational the experience was,” Cody said. “If we could involve more kids and get them interested in music at a younger age, we will have a whole new generation of musicians and audience members and ensure that organizations such as the Festival will always have a place in our region. These are the future leaders of our community.”
Cody will be one of the group leaders along with Festival board member Sid Lovett, who will be in charge of a group from Holderness. Each is recruiting four other mentors from their towns to participate, for a total of ten audience members in the initial group.
“We hope that other towns will hear about the program and want to be involved. It would be great if we were able to add more towns and students each week, and also include other types of activities, such as theatre or dance. This is really an opportunity to promote music and arts education in a fun way,” Lovett said of the idea.
Students of all ages are invited to join New Vibrations and the Festival is seeking volunteers from all towns to serve as mentors. Each volunteer will be responsible for purchasing a ticket for themselves and accompanying the group to the Family Concert, which is free to all kids 18 and under and college students with an ID. Students are encouraged to ask questions, learn more about the instruments, music and orchestra and meet with some of the musicians to hear about their experiences as members of the Festival. After the concert, the group will grab an ice cream at local favorite M ‘n M Scoops on Main Street in Plymouth.
Friends of the Arts and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire will both be involved with the project and are inviting all of their students to participate. Frumie Selchen, Executive Director of the Arts Alliance, is excited to bring this type of initiative to the community.
“We were so happy to hear about this idea, particularly because it has a great synergy with other programs we are doing. Being able to offer this as part of our Youth Arts initiative provides students with a wide variety of opportunities to experience all types of visual and performing arts. We hope that enthusiasm for these types of programs will allow us to offer them year-round,” Selchen said.
For further information or to purchase tickets for the New Hampshire Music Festival, please visit www.nhmf.org or call the Silver Center for the Arts box office at 603-535-2787.