“Our mission is to enrich the human spirit through symphonic music.”
When you think of the Jacksonville Symphony, you may think about the incredible Masterworks or fun-filled Pops performances that take place in Jacoby Hall. From Beethoven to Bowie, the Jacksonville Symphony does it all, contributing to its overall mission. But an equally large part of that mission is attained through education and community engagement programs: the orchestra recognizes it is a living, breathing part of the spirit of Jacksonville. Last season, the Jacksonville Symphony reached over 250,000 people, including students and community members, making it one of the largest music education institutions in Jacksonville, second only to Duval County Public Schools.
One of the largest components of the symphony’s youth programs is the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO). The JSYO is comprised of six levels that include beginning musicians through advanced and pre-conservatory students from across Northeast Florida. Through the year, these students will put on four concerts, including the Major/Minor concert where the ensembles are joined by symphony musicians and Music Director Courtney Lewis.
Not only do these students perform inside the walls of Jacoby Symphony Hall, they also perform in the community. This year, select members of the JSYO Philharmonic were accepted in the Honors Chamber Ensembles. As a part of this program, students perform at events throughout Northeast Florida.
When attending a concert, you can expect an evening of wonderful music with the Jacksonville Symphony and its musicians. But, there is also a chance you’ll witness the artistic talent of community students. Already this season we have brought in a high school brass ensemble to perform before our Opening Night concert, Allen D. Nease High School’s Concert Choir sang doo-wop tunes in November, and Douglas Anderson’s dance students were featured in the always-popular Holiday Pops. You will also hear JSYO ensembles playing in the lobby before concerts.
Although performing is a huge aspect of music education, so is the ability to listen and learn. Through the Students at the Symphony program, classes of music students are able to attend a Jacksonville Symphony concert for free. These students also participate in an educational, pre-concert workshop to learn more about the performance they are attending.
All students are able to purchase a Soundcheck card which gives them access to every Masterworks, Coffee Concert, and select special series concerts throughout the season. With the purchase of an adult ticket, children under eighteen can also get a free ticket to select concerts. In addition, students with an ID can arrive ninety minutes early to select concerts to purchase a ticket for only ten dollars.