Education and Community Engagement

School-based Programs

Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Concerts
Music Ambassadors Program
Open Rehearsals
Symphony at School (S@S)

Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Concerts

The Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Concerts, held during the school day, engage young minds through exciting full-orchestra performances. These morning performances by the Richmond Symphony correlate with Virginia Standards of Learning. Participating schools receive student listening guides, a teacher guide and a study CD in advance of the performance. Concerts serve city, county, private and home-schooled students. Tickets are $6 (general admission); $4 for Title 1 schools; 1 free chaperone ticket with 10 paid student tickets.

Reservation Form
Discovery Flier

The Remarkable Farkle McBride for grades Pre-K-3
March 14, 2014, 9:45am Sold Out NEW Second Show Added 11:30 am
Carpenter Theatre

This new 40-minute concert format is designed especially for younger students. The story of Farkle McBride, brought to life by the musicians of the Richmond Symphony, is a perfect introduction to the instruments in the orchestra. Farkle is a musical prodigy who learns how to play every instrument. But even so, something is missing. What will it take to make Farkle happy?

Shakespeare: Rivalry & Romance for grades 3-8
October 24, 2013, 9:45 & 11:30 am
March 6, 2014, 9:45 & 11:30 am (Inclement weather date: March 27, 2014)
Carpenter Theatre

With swordfights, fancy parties, family rivalries and an epic love story, Romeo and Juliet has something for everyone! Celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday with The Richmond Symphony. This 50-minute concert introduces older elementary students to standard works by composers such as Bernstein, Prokofiev, and John Williams.

For High School students only: check out our new, interactive open rehearsal format.

Musical Ambassadors Program (MAP)

Reservation Form

Four chamber ensembles of the Richmond Symphony perform over 100 concerts annually for more than 30,000 school children in Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan, New Kent and Richmond Public Schools as well as private and home schools. Performances for students of all ages are upbeat and informal. Programs are age-appropriate, last approximately 30 - 45 minutes, and relate to the theme of the Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Concert. Elementary school programs are most effective when presented to audiences of 300 students or less; same day, back-to-back ensemble performances at one location are available. MAP performances are offered to Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, and Richmond Public Schools at no charge and are available to other districts, private and home school groups at affordable rates.

Richmond Symphony Strings (RSS) + 1 percussionist

Instrumentation: Violin (10), viola (3), cello (2), bass (1) plus percussion

Woodwind Quartet (WW4)

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon

Woodwind Quintet (WW5)

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn

Brass Quintet (BQ) + 1 percussionist

Instrumentation: Trumpet (2); french horn, trombone, tuba plus percussion

Open Rehearsals for High School and College Students

Reservation Form

This is your chance to see the Richmond Symphony (RSO) at work in rehearsal in the Carpenter Theatre. Open Rehearsals give high school and college students and their teachers the opportunity to learn from Richmond Symphony musicians, guest artists and conductors. Students are invited to observe a complete (2 hour) rehearsal; there will be a 15-minute break approximately halfway through. Following the rehearsal, the conductor, guest artists and/or select members of the RSO may take questions from students.

**NEW this season! Select open rehearsals will have a new interactive format (see below). Hosted by a member of the RSO conducting staff, students will be invited to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for real-time updates during the rehearsal via social media.

Open Rehearsals are free of charge, but seating is limited. Reservations must be made in advance through the RSO Education Department.

Please note that rehearsal orders for each date are determined by the conductor and are subject to last-minute changes; the rehearsal you will be attending may not include all of the repertoire and/or soloists listed.

Beethoven Celebration
Friday, September 20, 7:30-10pm

Steven Smith, conductor / William Wolfram, piano

Beethoven Overture to Fidelio
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"

Copland Clarinet Concerto
Wednesday, November 20, 2-4:30pm

Steven Smith, conductor / Ralph Skiano, clarinet

Kraus Symphony in E minor
Copland Clarinet Concerto
Ives Symphony No. 3 "The Camp Meeting"
Dvorak Czech Suite

Don Quixote - Interactive Format**
hosted by Erin R. Freeman, Associate Conductor
Friday, January 10, 3:30-6pm
Steven Smith, conductor / Neal Cary, cello; Molly Sharp, viola

Wagner Excerpts from Lohengrin
George Walker Foils for Orchestra (Homage a Saint-Georges)
Strauss Don Quixote

Grieg Piano Concerto
Thursday, January 30, 7:30-10pm

Mei-Ann Chen, guest conductor / George Li*, piano

Golijov Last Round
Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor
Schumann Symphony No. 2 in C Major

Shostakovich Symphony No. 10
Thursday, February 27, 3:30-6pm

Steven Smith, conductor / Anne Akiko Myers Violin

Liadov The Enchanted Lake
Mason Bates Violin Concerto
Shostakovich Symphony No. 10

Damnation of Faust - Interactive Format**
hosted by Erin R. Freeman, Associate Conductor
Thursday, May 15, 7:30-10pm
Steven Smith, conductor / Elizabeth Bishop, Mezzo-soprano, Vale Rideout, Tenor, Raymond Aceto, Bass-baritone, Jason Hardy, Bass / Richmond Symphony & Virginia Symphony Choruses

Berlioz Damnation of Faust

Symphony @ School

Symphony@School (S@S) is an intensive, in-school residency program offered by The Richmond Symphony String Quintet to middle & high school orchestra programs. Residencies will include the following components: planning with orchestra directors and school administrators, in-school performances by the RSO String Quintet, sectional coaching with RSO musicians, and rehearsals with RSO conductors. Additionally, students, teachers, and their families will be invited to an upcoming concert as guests of the Richmond Symphony.

Each residency will occur over a time period of approximately one month. There will be no cost to the school for a residency, but there may be costs associated with student transportation that will be the responsibility of schools and/or students. Host schools should be prepared to support each residency by providing adequate space, logistical support, and by supporting students' attendance at a RSO concert (tickets provided by RSO).

For more information, or if you are interested in bringing the musicians of the Richmond Symphony to your school, please contact Aimee Halbruner at