Elementary students perform with Fresno Philharmonic

FRESNO, Calif.

Those kids got to perform with the Fresno Philharmonic.

The worlds of beginner musicians and classically trained professionals harmoniously came together at the Saroyan Theatre.

"This is the culmination of several months of activity in schools in Fresno Unified, Central Unified and other schools in outer lying districts," said Stephen Wilson, executive director of the Fresno Philharmonic.

The hands-on curriculum was brought to Fresno by Carnegie Hall's Link Up program. The program focuses on teaching school children about orchestral music and giving them the opportunity to perform.

"The most important is that they learn to appreciate not only classical music, symphony orchestras, but that they learn to understand the importance and value of all forms of culture," said Maestro Theodore Kuchar, conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic.

The Fresno Philharmonic has performed for the school children before, but this marks the first time that the children performed with the symphony.

The program is already inspiring young musicians. Fourth grader Belana Prager says she wants to pursue a career in music.

"I already know the piano, and I would like to learn how to play the guitar," said Prager.

Kuchar says he was impressed with how well the children performed.

"They came in knowing exactly when they were supposed to do what they did, what they were supposed to play," he said.

Both school districts and the Fresno Philharmonic hope to continue collaborating with Link Up to bring the program to future students.

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