Sunday, December 10, 2023

Symphony Partners with School System to Prepare Students for Upcoming Musical

Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra has partnered with Jamestown High School to help prepare student musicians for the school’s upcoming musical (Pexels/Ludwig Kwan)

WILLIAMSBURG-JAMES CITY COUNTY — Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC) has partnered with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) to prepare student musicians from Jamestown High School (JHS) for the school’s upcoming musical.

From April 28-30, JHS is set to present “Beauty & The Beast: The Broadway Musical,” which is based on the Disney animated film and licensed through Music Theatre International Catalogue.

Since March, the musical’s pit orchestra, which is comprised of student musicians and led by JHS Senior Karin Hines, has been practicing for the upcoming show. A release from WSO notes that this will be the first time in which a student orchestra has performed live during a theater production since 2019.

WSO stated that this particular production comprises of over 80 students participating within the cast, crew, and orchestra.

“While we were able to do recorded performances, outdoor shows, and even an outdoor small cast musical over the past 24 pandemic months, it is nice to return to something that feels like normal,” said theater teacher J. Harvey Stone.

To prepare for the upcoming performances, professional musicians from WSO have been working with the students on campus throughout the month of April, providing an instrumental coaching experience for them.

This partnership is part of WSO’s ongoing educational outreach initiatives with an emphasis on promoting lifelong musical opportunities and teaching collaborative ways of inviting community members into a shared experience that enriches lives. The partnership is made possible with funding from The Huston Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Arts Commission of York County, Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, Newport News Arts Commission, and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra League.

“The dedicated students and teaching staff of WJCC Schools are to be commended for their tireless work and dedication to this production. Their excitement, excellence, and encouragement are truly what made this partnership a success,” said WSO Marketing and Community Outreach Manager JB Crowley. “Our WSO Musicians look forward to educational outreach opportunities, especially those that allow them to make an immediate impact. The student musicians have invested great effort into making this pit orchestra successful. The student’s support of one another across the Fine Arts disciplines is genuinely touching and speaks to the character of these impressive young people.”

JHS will present the musical April 28-30. For information or tickets, residents are encouraged to call (757) 259-3644.

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