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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

San Antonio Symphony Creates High School Mentorship Program

The San Antonio Symphony launches a new initiative to reach young musicians.  It's called the High School Residency Program, and it takes musicians from the symphony and has them mentor students from two local high schools.

 Jeremy Brimhall, the symphony’s director of education, says, "For example if we send a symphony clarinetist, the band director will take the clarinetists aside to another room and have our symphony musician work with them directly."

This first residency foray has settled on John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson high schools.  Of all the symphony's various outreach programs, interchange with young musicians is quite popular.

"For a lot of them the high school interaction is No. 1 on the list. Our musicians by and large like to work with the high school students."

There's also an end-of-year performance where musicians and students come together.

"So at each campus we're also going to do something special--we're also going to embed our musicians into their ensemble for one concert at the end of the year where our musicians will be performing side-by-side with the students they've been mentoring throughout the year."

Another program allows students to watch the Symphony rehearse at the Tobin Center.

"It's our dress rehearsal for our pops or classical concert happening that weekend. It's basically a field trip opportunity for the campus.

But what may be the biggest treat is what happens after rehearsal.

"And then the really neat thing about those is that immediately after our music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing...will come down and do a question-and-answer session with the students that are there.  He's really good at taking on questions and expanding them in a way that's educational to the audience."

From the first two high schools, the Symphony hopes to expand to several others. 

Find more on the Symphony's High School Residency Program here