Symphony Tacoma brings thousands of children online programs

Symphony Tacoma brings thousands of children online programs

Symphony Tacoma brings thousands of children online programs

Symphony Tacoma now brings its education programs online including Mini-Maestros & Simply Symphonic to a Google Classroom. It also launched a opportunity for children to send in compositions that will be compiled to a community premiere inspired by Mozart Requiem in a project called Eternal Light.

In June 2020, Symphony Tacoma entered into a partnership with Meludia, a French music education company, to help local students stay engaged with their music lessons while COVID-19 restrictions are keeping them out of the classroom. The Meludia Method, a web platform which includes 625 interactive music learning exercises, will be available to about 3,000 participating music students in Symphony Tacoma’s Symphony2U program, University Place School District, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, Tacoma Youth Chorus, University Place Presbyterian Church Alleluia Choir, children of Tacoma Refugee Choir, and students of Symphony Tacoma musicians.

Once area schools closed, Symphony Tacoma’s education team quickly pivoted to research and develop new virtual content to help students maintain the momentum in their music studies. Meludia’s ear training program came highly recommended by colleagues of Maestra Sarah Ioannides. After evaluating the quality of the program, Symphony staff conferred with Meludia’s creators and determined that it would be a solid alternative for youth participating in Symphony education programs, including Simply Symphonic and Symphony2U.

The partnership with Meludia began when Music Director Sarah Ioannides was invited as a delegate to the World Culture Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2017 with the support of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Symphony Board. “I have worked on the platform and found it to be valuable for ear training for both kids and adults, including professional musicians,” says Ioannides.

The Meludia platform allows students to proceed at their own pace through a game-like platform using sleek minimalist visuals and acoustics. Learning occurs through right-brained instinct and experimentation, rather than a more traditionally prescribed process. The gaming component adds an element of sport and motivates players to aim for the next level as they heighten their ability to listen.

Two Symphony2U musician coaches are also participating in Meludia training to learn the many facets of the program. After the training, they will create instructional videos customized for different age groups, from beginning violin elementary students through high school orchestra players. Access to the training program will be distributed from teachers to their students who will be able to stay connected with their music in new enriching ways while outside of school.

Symphony Magazine Summer 2020

Symphony Magazine Summer 2020

Sarah Ioannides recognized in “It’s About Time” article covering the current state of women leadership on the podium.  To quote Jesse Rosen: “Bringing women into leadership roles on podiums, on stage, in the board room, on staff, along with many other underrepresented population – this needs to be at the center of the work of people in orchestra…”

WORLD PREMIERE: Symphony Tacoma Celebrates Beethoven and His Legacy with ‘Ludwig and Beethoven’

Symphony Tacoma continues its celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with Ludwig AND Beethoven on March 21, 2020 in the Pantages Theater.

The concert opens with Mozart’s longest and final symphony, No. 41 “Jupiter,” which is notable not only for its power and beauty, but also for its musical innovations and techniques that had previously been shunned. Beethoven was said to have been inspired by its five simultaneous melodies, or polyphony.

Next up is the world premiere of Composer in Residence David Ludwig’s The Bleeding Pines. Inspired by Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy,” it is based on a play by poet Ray Owen that tells the story of North Carolina’s endangered Round Top Long Leaf Pine forest and one woman’s efforts to save that ancient tract of land from oblivion.

“That forest around Southern Pines is a mystical, spiritual place—a place where one feels the passing millennia in a single visit walking through woods and where the smell of the pines sits still in the air,” says Ludwig. “The tract of forest survives today because of the passionate work of Helen Boyd Dull and the continued efforts of conservationists who appreciate the timeless beauty of the trees.

“Owen and I have collaborated on multiple song cycles using his poetry, but this new oratorio is an opportunity to paint his story on the great canvas of the orchestra and chorus. That the premiere of this new work is taking place in Tacoma in the Pacific Northwest is meaningful, given how important the environment and the green life of trees is to people who live here.”

The 3rd annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass

Cascade Conducting 2020
February 2020

The 3rd annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass will take place June 14-21, 2020 at Pacific Lutheran University.  This year, a composition workshop, led by Symphony Tacoma composer-in-residence David Ludwig has been added.  The composers will work in collaboration with the conductors during the week and present their compositions, conducted by masterclass participants, on June 21st.  The repertoire for the conducting masterclass will include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, performed by Oksana Ezhokina, as well as Schumann “Rhenish” Symphony, De Falla, “Three-Cornered Hat,” Fanny Mendelssohn’s Overture in C, and Beethoven Contradances.  These works will be performed by the Cascade Conducting Orchestra, conducted by participants of the 2020 Cascade Conducting Masterclass on June 20th at 7pm.  This concert is free of charge.

Founded in 2017 by Sarah Ioannides, Teo Benson, and Paula Madrigal, Cascade Conducting presents an annual, week-long conducting masterclass directed by Ioannides at Pacific Lutheran University. This event includes seminars by top Northwest musical figures, quality podium time led by Ioannides with a 40 person orchestra comprised of 20 professional musicians, mostly from Symphony Tacoma, and multiple scholarships, including the “Orquesta Northwest Scholarship for an exceptional Latinx conductor.”  The program is designed to find balance between the demands of the business and the preservation of one’s individual musicianship as a necessity for achieving excellence.