SLSO connects cultures through education concerts, music from around the world

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will connect elementary school students with cultures from around the world in four Music Without Boundaries education concerts on Wednesday and Thursday, February 20-21, 2019.

These 45-minute concerts are presented at Powell Hall during the school day and will reach more than 8,000 children. The Music Without Boundaries concert program is designed to take students on a musical journey illustrating the influence of music from international cultures including the Balkans, China, France, and West Africa.

The Music Without Boundaries education concerts are an extension of the SLSO’s Music Without Boundaries program, which provides free admission and transportation for immigrants to SLSO performances throughout the year.

The program also presents unique fellowship opportunities between St. Louis‘ immigrant population and SLSO musicians. SLSO musicians perform more than 100 education programs and concerts both at Powell Hall and in schools throughout the St. Louis region, reaching more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families annually.

“Music is such a powerful connecting force which is why the SLSO launched Music Without Boundaries in 2004 as a community initiative to welcome the newest Americans in St. Louis,” Marie-Hélène Bernard, president and CEO of SLSO, said. “We are excited to extend the Music Without Boundaries concept to our Education concerts as a way to help students learn about and appreciate the music of the richly diverse cultures that continue to shape our region.”

Salesevic will perform the accordion on Uzmite moj život (Hold My Life) with the SLSO in the traditional Sevdah style of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The University of Missouri St. Louis Percussion Ensemble joins the SLSO in performing Saran Kenyi, a traditional Malinke song from West Africa.

The SLSO has developed concert curriculum for educators to use in the classroom based on the repertoire performed in the concert. Concert curriculum aligns with the Missouri and Illinois learning standards for music, social studies, and English/Language Arts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 9:30 am
Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 11:00 am
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 9:30 am
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 11:00 am
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Norman Huynh, conductor
Amir Salesevic, accordion
Matthew Henry and the University of Missouri St. Louis Percussion Ensemble

JOPLIN Maple Leaf Rag
COPLAND Variations on a Shaker Melody
arr. Chris WOEHR Uzmite moj život (Hold My Life)
Traditional fanga alafia
arr. Adam MANESS Saran Kenyi
FAURÈ Pavane, op. 50
Huang RUO “Flower Drum Song“ from Feng Yang
Arturo MARQUEZ Danzón No. 2 for Orchestra

NOTE: These concerts are sold out.

A St. Louis Symphony Orchestra tradition for nearly 100 years, SLSO Education Concerts offer an introduction to live music to more than 20,000 students each year. Through its education programs, the SLSO engages more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families from pre-K through college – some from as far as 130 miles away – each season, offering unique access to the arts. The next Education Concerts, Carnegie Hall’s Link Up “The Orchestra Swings,” are May 7th-8th.

“St. Louis is home to the largest Bosnian community outside of Bosnia, and many of our neighbors are from this community. A traditional Sevdah piece from Bosnia will be included on this concert, and we are thrilled that our friend and accordionist Amir Salesevic, himself originally from Bosnia, will join the SLSO on stage to perform this piece,” Maureen Byrne, SLSO Senior Director of Education and Community Partnerships, said.