Youngstown symphony takes show on the road for special audience

The traveling orchestra visits different schools, using music to teach about different cultures in America

POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Students at Dobbins Elementary in Poland were treated to a special performance this week by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

What makes the performance so unique is that the students had the show come to them. It’s all a part of the Youngstown Symphony’s Young People’s Concert series.

The traveling orchestra visits different schools, using music to teach about different cultures in America.

Dobbins Elementary got its music program back about three years ago after losing it to budget cuts. Even still, things like busing issues and time constraints make it difficult for field trips. With the Young People’s Concert performances, the field trip comes to them.

“We do all we can to supplement whole child education in a very short school day, quite honestly. To expose them at this age is the most important thing,” said Principal Michael Daley.

Often times, budget constraints force cuts to arts programs. That is why those at the orchestra take their show on the road.

“This provides an opportunity for children who would not otherwise be involved in music to have one or two opportunities a year,” said Patricia Syak, Youngstown Symphony.

Nearly 650 students got to see the performance Wednesday – learning about the rich musical history brought to America from immigrants around the world. Symphony Director Randall Fleischer said the performances are active. Fleischer helps to narrate the show and get the kids involved.

“We have kids clapping to the beat. We have them raising their hands when they hear this. We have them singing along, do body percussion,” Fleischer said.

Not only does music help with language and history, it can help inspire children. Fleischer this age is a perfect audience because they haven’t learned any of the stereotypes yet about classical music.

“They haven’t learned that it is not cool. They like what they like at this age, which makes for me, this kind of audience, one of the more satisfying audiences to perform for,” Fleischer said.