More than 12,000 fourth and fifth graders from local schools attended the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra’s annual Symphony Concerts for Young People this week.
The students from Long Beach and Wilmington public schools streamed into the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center to hear the symphony play four full concerts created especially for them.
The concerts were conducted by Robert Istad, artistic director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers. His extensive experience with choral music also afforded 130 Long Beach Unified School District high school students from the All District Honors Choir the chance to rehearse and perform with the symphony on the stage of the 3,000 seat theater.
Part of a 30-year partnership with LBUSD, the field trips are an integral part of the school district’s arts curriculum, providing nearly 12 hours of related lesson plans to augment the concerts.
The concerts are sponsored by The Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation, with support from Valero Energy, the Boeing Company and other partners. Boeing has funded the addition of a Common Core curriculum specialist who has created new lesson plans and teacher resources including science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts. A pilot program using these lesson plans includes numerous Long Beach teachers and students.
For many students, the field trip is a first-time experience with a symphony orchestra.