Greater Tulsa Reporter
LINKING UP: Link Together Chair Dr. Kathy LaFortune and Judge William Kellough are all smiles as they begin preparation for the fundraising event to promote symphonic music for young students in the greater Tulsa area. Lafortune and Kellough are also on the board of the Tulsa Symphony.
Link Together for student success is the title given for Tulsa Symphony’s fundraising dinner event on March 30 in the Assembly Hall of the Cox Business Center. This event will gather support and excitement toward next year’s (2017-2018) Link Up program.
Link Up is the Carnegie Hall program that Tulsa Symphony brings to 12,000 Tulsa-area students. The most recent season culminated with concerts in February.
Link Together is planned to be a night featuring a casual and fun atmosphere, with a focus on local teachers and schools.
This year’s event will include performances by TSO musicians, explanations about the Link Up program, a demonstration by a small group of Link Up students, and remarks by the special guest, Hillarie O’Toole, from Carnegie Hall .
Hillarie O’Toole has been a member of the Weill Music Institute team since 2012. Currently serving as manager of learning and engagement, she has implemented the Link Up program in New York City, nationally, and internationally, providing concert and educational resources to over 350,000 students and teachers.
Single tickets for the event are $112 per person (which includes sponsorship for one student in the Link Up program). Various ticket packages are available.
Link Together is the fundraising event on March 30 that will raise awareness of the program and fundraise for the 2017-2018 Link Up program.
“Link Up” is the name of the overarching program developed over the past 30 years by the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall. It reaches almost 400,000 students worldwide through partnerships with more than 90 orchestras.
• Tulsa Symphony was accepted as a partner orchestra in 2015 and piloted a small version of the program (impacting 1,200 children) during the 2015-2016 season. The Pilot Program was an overwhelming success with students, teachers and program sponsors. The 2016-2017 season is our first full execution of the program, and will reach over 12,000 students.
• The participating school districts this year are Tulsa Public, Union, Sand Springs, Jenks, and Broken Arrow. The Link Up program, through Tulsa Symphony, is currently active in every elementary school in these five districts, all at zero cost to the schools, teachers and parents.
• TSO’s Link Up program also serves as Tulsa’s Any Given Child program. Every fourth grader in Tulsa Public Schools will take part in this program in 2016-2017.
• The Link Up program is a three-year curriculum which engages 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in an exploration of orchestral repertoire and core musical concepts. The design of the curriculum is such that the programs – The Orchestra Rocks, The Orchestra Moves, and The Orchestra Sings – build upon one another from 3rd to 4th to 5th grade, regardless of the order in which they are presented.
• The Link Up concept is far more than an annual orchestra concert. Each year, the program begins at least 3-4 months before the culminating concert with participating teachers receiving professional development training to learn the curriculum. Through this professional development training, we work to adapt the program to the needs of each teacher’s students and to integrate it with his or her existing school program. Months of classroom preparation lead to a culminating concert with the Tulsa Symphony in which the students and teachers play and sing along with the orchestra from their seats in the concert hall. The concert is fully scripted with engaging visuals projected onto a giant screen above the orchestra with all production and classroom materials provided through the Carnegie Hall partnership.
• This year’s culmination Link Up concerts (The Orchestra Rocks!) took place in February and featured eight student performances.
• In a nutshell, this is a program based on decades of research and is a perfect fit for the Tulsa community. Tulsa Symphony would like to continue to expand the reach of Link Up into additional suburban districts and neighboring cities and towns in our region.
• Sponsorships begin at $1,000 (4 people), and table sponsorship are available at the $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000 levels.
For more information, see www.tulsasymphony.org/linktogether.