Symphony for the Schools

The Utah Symphony was formed in 1940. Now one of only 17 full-time professional orchestras in the country, the Symphony stands as the cultural flagship of the state, employing 85 musicians for 52 weeks, and presenting over 175 concerts each year. The Symphony's home in Salt Lake City is the acoustically-acclaimed Maurice Abravanel Hall, where most of its public and many of its educational programs are performed. In July 2002, the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera merged to form Utah Symphony & Opera. We provide Utah students with an introduction to orchestral music, along with training in listening skills and tools for understanding musical concepts in ways that support the state core curriculum. Students and teachers are encouraged to extend their symphonic experiences at our school concerts by choosing to attend future symphony performances. Performance opportunities for young soloists, choirs and youth orchestras give them a powerful and intimate look at the world of the professional musician. They have a better basis upon which to improve their individual musicianship as well as make future musical choices. Other students who witness the excitement of these young performers have their example of success for inspiration. We provide teacher in-service opportunities in conjunction with orchestra performances that help develop their listening vocabulary and give guidance in taking their learning back to their students in the classroom. Utah Symphony in-depth, performance and lecture/demonstration events combine to remind Utah students and teachers that they have many great opportunities from which to choose to have music in their lives, whether as performers or audience members.

Symphony in the School Programs

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The Utah Symphony programs a full orchestra or a chamber orchestra (45 to 50 musicians) education program each year to allow us to travel great distances and play in schools with large or small auditoriums.  These concerts are made possible in part because of generous funding from the Professional Outreach Program to Schools which is funded by the Utah State Legislature and administered by the Utah State Office of Education.  Separate programs are created for clementary (grades 4-8) and secondary audiences.  The concerts are approximately 50 minutes long.  When school and district schedules make it necessary to have students in grades 4-12 at the same concert, we will perform the elementary concert program.  Teachers receive materials that help them prepare students for their attendance as well as activity suggestions to help support their teaching of the music core curriculum. Click here to see if the Utah Symphony will perform in your district this year. Call Beverly Hawkins at 801-869-9092 to schedule a concert in your district or contact your district arts coordinator. Teacher materials for our school concerts are available on this website. Go to Teachers and Teacher Materials to access them. 


This special series is presented at Maurice Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. All fifth grade classrooms within busing distance are invited to attend these concerts free of charge. In addition to receiving materials for teachers, hundreds of attending schools receive personal visits from Utah Symphony Guild Docents trained by our Education Department to present core concepts and an introduction to orchestral music. Concerts are 45-50 minutes. Attendance for pre-registered districts will be handled by the school district. These districts will submit actual reservation numbers by the first of December or earlier, at which point any unused seats will be made available for online registration. To make sure we have enough room to accommodate everyone, we ask that only 1 adult accompany every 15-20 students. Please make sure this is reflected on your registrations. Register here 

Open Rehearsals

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Open rehearsals are scheduled throughout the year to provide a variety of times, repertoire and soloists for those in attendance. Teachers generally sign up to bring their classes, and seating is limited. School groups and Youth Guild members should contact Beverly Hawkins at 801-869-9092 to sign-up.  Click on the headline above for the 2015-16 schedule.

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