Thousands of Fresno County students performing alongside Fresno Philharmonic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Tuesday morning, thousands of Fresno County Elementary students prepared to give the performance of the year.

"It's going to be huge, which it is," said Cassandra Avila, a 4th grader at Fremont Elementary."

They practiced playing their recorders for almost the entire school year, and now their getting their big break. An opportunity to play with the Fresno Philharmonic at the Saroyan Theatre.

"It feels good because we practiced a whole lot," said Julianna Kirk, a 4th grader at Fremont Elementary.

It is all part of the Link Up music program, giving students a different kind of learning experience, which has been impacting the lives of students since 2013.

"We found out that since we introduced the Link Up program, the districts have noticed that more students are continuing with the study of instrumental music in later grades," said Stephen Wilson President and CEO of the Fresno Philharmonic.

It was like a game of Simon Says, the Philharmonic played one part, and then the young performers followed along in the audience.

"It is nerve-wracking and exciting," said Avila.

Kirk also felt those same nerves, but with her parent's support, she had it in the bag.

"They said to have good luck, make sure you do good and do your best," said Kirk.

The performance is also showed them what a career in music looks like.

"They are going back and saying, 'hey, I want to do what these professionals are doing, I want to be up onstage one day, what do I need to do,'" said Aaron Bryan Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Visual and Performing arts program manager.

Over the next three days, more than 11,000 students will get to take part in the musical experience.
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