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San Antonio Symphony Opens Rehearsals To Students

Jeremy Brimhall
San Antonio Symphony
Students watch an open reheasal at the San Antonio Symphony.

The San Antonio Symphony's 2018-2019 season doesn't start until late September, but there's something some parents and students may want to put on their calendars: rehearsals are now open to music students.

The symphony's education director Jeremy Brimhall says every school year they pull back the curtain and allow young people to see how symphonic music gets made.

"We select several of our dress rehearsals — our last rehearsal before a concert — and open them up to middle and high school students, and also college students, to come in and see what a professional rehearsal is like," he said.

Contributed Photo
Credit Jeremy Brimhall / San Antonio Symphony
Sebastian Lang-Lessing talking to the students.

Symphony rehearsals can give young musicians a fascinating window into the process of a professional musician, he said.

"Also to see how a conductor works with professional musicians and how they respond to him," Brimhall said.

And the behind-the-scenes open rehearsals don't end when the music does.

"Typically our music director Sebastian Lang-Lessing will come down and do a talkback or a Q & A with the students immediately after the rehearsal, and they have wonderful questions for him I think they get a lot out of that experience," he said.

For open rehearsals, six concerts from their classics series were selected, but Brimhall said they've also done something they've never done before.

Credit Jeremy Brimhall / San Antonio Symphony
Sebastian Lang-Lessing talking to the students.

"We're opening up one of our movie concerts rehearsals, and that will actually be the 'Star Wars: A New Hope' concert on Sept. 28," he said.

The symphony makes access to these rehearsals easy for students and schools.

"Open rehearsals are completely free admission so for the school it's a matter of securing their transportation and setting up their field trip," he said.

Students sign up to attend open rehearsals through their schools’ music program.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org