Community Outreach

The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra's extensive education and outreach programs have delighted thousands of young people and earned the praise of parents and teachers. Orchestral leaders and teachers alike believe that music encourages children to be more creative and strengthens listening and language skills. While taking social distancing precautions to protect our musicians and the students we serve, we have found new and exciting ways to connect virtually with area schools. May we continue to bring the exceptional programming our community has come to depend on.

Masterclasses & Instrumental Coaching

During the typical season, professional guest artists who are featured in the Williamsburg Symphony’s Masterworks concert series often volunteer to teach a masterclass that is open to the public. At no cost, area students have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play for a renowned professional artist and to receive individual instruction in front of an audience.

In addition to masterclasses, The Williamsburg Symphony offers instrumental coaching. We believe that our professional musicians should be an inspiration to young musicians. The WSO arranges for musicians to meet with small groups of students in school orchestra and band programs to work on technique and mastery of the instrument. These classes are free of charge, with 25 classes offered in area schools each season (Grades 5-12). Since the Spring of 2020, our musicians have been holding these instrumental coaching sessions online virtually for students near and far, expanding our educational reach in new and exciting ways.

Williamsburg Youth Orchestras (WYO)

The mission of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras is to help talented and motivated young musicians in the region develop their full potential as orchestra performers by providing them with the music education programs and performance opportunities that they need.

The Williamsburg Youth Orchestras, established in 1995 by local musicians and parents, gives area students the opportunity to play in a full orchestra. Thanks to support from arts commissions as well as private and corporate donations, WYO has expanded to include a string orchestra, a chamber music program and a Side-by-Side concert with the Symphony. The first Side-by-Side was presented in May 2013 and continues every other year, giving student musicians the opportunity to play on stage in a concert hall, seated beside professional musicians. This dynamic event has resonating power and is remarkable to watch!

The WYO Symphony Orchestra remains the only full orchestral experience available to school-age musicians in the Williamsburg area. The WYO String Orchestras build ensemble musicianship and playing skills. These groups perform a minimum of three concerts together each season.

To learn more:

WYOMusic.org

Instruments for Kids

Support local student musicians: donate your gently used instruments

Donate your retired instruments to deserving young musicians and help them fulfill their dreams of making beautiful music. Donations of instruments are tax deductible.

The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra is collaborating with the Williamsburg Music Club and other organizations to expand our supply of musical instruments for students in need throughout the greater Williamsburg area. Our Instruments for Kids program has found happy homes for many devices.

WSO VP - Education Jack Wagner is heading this program and will be pleased to provide more information or to pick up your donation. Email him at jwagnerip@gmail.com

View More Information

Peter & the Wolf

A generous grant by John C. Jamison enables hundreds of elementary level children in the WJCC school district and area private schools to hear a live performance by The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra of Prokofiev's charming tale set to music.

Mr. Jamison first heard Peter and the Wolf as a four-year-old pre-school student, while attending a performance by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. This seminal experience was the beginning of his life-long devotion to Sergei Prokofiev's 1936 composition as a teaching tool. When Mr. Jamison narrated the score years ago, he observed how the students became mesmerized by the characters' sounds as portrayed by the instruments in the orchestra. "Exposure to classical music and musicians creates an indelible link in a child's mind," he said.

If you are interested in Peter and the Wolf and want to learn more about bringing this featured performance to your school, contact our Executive Director, Carolyn Keurajian, by email:

Contact Carolyn

Meet the Musicians

An educational concert, now virtual or live, which takes place during the school day. Musicians from the Symphony, usually a trio or quartet, visit Williamsburg / James City / York County elementary schools providing students with an overview of classical music, terminology, and a concert. The students have the opportunity to interact with the musicians, play an instrument following the concert, and ask questions.

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