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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

San Antonio Art Contest Reveals How Young People Around The World 'See' Music

MCNAY ART MUSEUM’S PICK – Elena Cortez – Tortoises – Pre-K
courtesy San Antonio Symphony
MCNAY ART MUSEUM’S PICK – Elena Cortez – Tortoises – Pre-K";s:3:"u

The San Antonio Symphonyholds dozens of free concerts yearly for upwards of 40,000 area students. This year with COVID-19, there was a hitch. The symphony's Jeremy Brimhall explained.

"We were really heartbroken when our last series of young people’s concerts for the season were canceled in the spring, and so we've been looking for all sorts of things to continue to interact with students, particularly through symphonic music, and all those who are schooling from home right now," he said.

1st place, 5th grade, Samantha Aguilar
Credit courtesy San Antonio Symphony
1st place — Samantha Aguilar — 5th grade

They developed a young people’s art contest to link symphonic music to visual arts. The art contest was actually an outgrowth of one of the spring concerts.

"We centered the contest on Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals,” Brimhall said. “It has 14 short movements, each representing a different animal or group of animals. Then they were asked to read a short piece about their chosen movement from our recent teacher guide, choose their materials, make their work of art, take a photo of it and submit it along with a parental admission form.”

You didn't have to be a San Antonian to enter. 

"We decided to open it up worldwide and, interestingly, had entries from five different states and then also from Israel," he said. 

EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S PICK – Nika Nochovka – Aquarium – 2nd grade
Credit courtesy San Antonio Symphony
EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S PICK – Nika Nochovka – Aquarium – 2nd grade

Two hundred and forty-five entries were sent in and then judged, and now its winners have been revealed.  

"We had a committee of members of our symphony league and then also our associate conductor, Noam Aviel. A three-member panel chose winners for each of the 14 music selections and then created some other categories,” he said. “So we ended up with about 75 winners in all."

As to the young people’s concerts from which the contest grew, they normally begin each autumn. This year, the concerts have been moved to January.

"And of course, those are still tentative. And we're going to be following all the guidelines from the CDC and all the state and local authorities as well," he said.

We will keep you posted. 

Best of Show, Richard Kern — Kindergarten
Credit Courtesy San Antonio Symphony
Best of Show — Richard Kern — Kindergarten

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii