It isn’t often that a child can say they have played with the Philharmonic, but thanks to an amazing program called Link Up that was developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, 13,000 students in Rhode Island can now say just that.

A musician showing her instrument to BVP scholars

A musician showing her instrument to BVP scholars

Over the past two days, more than 300 scholars from BVP’s Elementary School 1 and 2 took field trips to The Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence and participated in an interactive experience where they were guided through tuning, playing, and singing along with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Now in it’s fourth season of Link Up, the RI Philharmonic’s show is high energy. Before it began, musicians walked up and down aisles with their instruments, playing short tunes for children up close. Our scholars “ooohed and aaaahed” over hearing the melodies so close and were full of excitement once the show began.

For weeks, our scholars, like many students throughout the state, have been practicing a selection of tunes to play along with the orchestra on their recorders. Under the direction of the conductor and host, both full of humor and making our scholars laugh throughout the show, the auditorium full of children moved from tune to tune.

The excitement and joy was infectious and as the children took in the opera, dancers, and energy you could tell that if the children attending didn’t already love music, this was one of those experiences that would instill a life-long love of it.

Dancers performing the can-can

Dancers performing the can-can during the Link Up show with the Rhode Island Philharmonic

Elementary School 2 music teacher, Raffi Rachdouni, has been looking forward to sharing this experience with his scholars. After the show he shared, “Whether it was singing along ‘Ode to Joy’ with the hundreds of other students in the room, playing Mozart’s ‘Nocturne’ along with the orchestra or even just getting up and dancing to Rio de Janeiro’s theme song, ‘Cidade Maravilhosa,’ our 2nd and 4th graders truly had a top-of-line musical and interactive concert experience.”

Thank you to the Rhode Island Philharmonic for including Blackstone Valley Prep scholars in this wonderful program!