Youth Concert Series
The Las Vegas Philharmonic's Youth Concert Series is designed to bring young students into the concert hall for a true symphonic experience. The program is created by the Las Vegas Philharmonic in cooperation with the Clark County School District. The preparations for the Youth Concert Series occur in several steps, beginning in May of the prior year. In May, a select committee of teachers and administrators meet with the conductor to give input on the creation of the following year's musical program. Once the music is selected, curricular materials are developed by the committee to help teachers prepare students for their experience at the Philharmonic. Study guides and classroom activities are provided to all elementary music teachers during in-service training sessions prior to the start of school in the fall. As a result, students are already familiar with some of the music, as well as the composition of a symphony orchestra and audience etiquette, before they ever come to the concert hall.
The next step is the selection of student soloists to perform with the Philharmonic during the Youth Concert Series. In November, the Las Vegas Philharmonic conducts its annual Young Artists' Concerto Competition. Young musicians compete by performing a movement of a concerto of their choice, before a panel of adjudicators from the Philharmonic. All students up through and including seniors in high school, are eligible to compete. Normally, anywhere from two to five students are selected to perform their selections during the Youth Concert Series. This competition has grown consistently throughout the years, and is now an all-day event. The Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild provides refreshments and support.
The purpose of showcasing the winners of the concerto competition is not only to give the soloists the opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra, but also to show the students in the audience that one does not have to be "old" to play classical music well. In fact, as will be pointed out, most musicians begin their classical training when they are close to the same age as the members of the audience. Following the soloist's performance, the Philharmonic continues to perform a wide variety of music for the children.
To date, the Las Vegas Philharmonic has performed over 100 concerts for young people in the Las Vegas area, reaching over 196,000 students. These concerts are presented to the young people of our community free of charge. Since its inception in 1999, the Philharmonic's Board of Directors has provided well over $600,000 to underwrite this worthwhile series. We are proud of the role that the Philharmonic has been able to play in the nurturing and education of our children.