Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival Board has provided a grant of $1,000 toward the broadcast costs of the “Water Music” Education Concert of the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra playing side-by-side with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.   The live broadcast originated from the stage of the Performing Arts Theatre at Berglund Center in Roanoke on Monday, January 26, in Roanoke.

The VBRMF grant covered a significant part of the direct costs of this unique educational project for our region – which, consistent with our Mission, exposed thousands of students to live classical music.      

Maestro David Stewart Wiley said the following about the concert:
“The excitement of our talented youth symphony kids has been palpable and real in recent weeks. The unique opportunity to be broadcast to (in excess of) 22,000 fellow students in the Roanoke, New River Valley, and surrounding 17 communities is amazing to them. Also, the opportunity to play side- by-side with our symphony professionals in a combined 115-strong orchestra is a wonderful and growthful opportunity in their musical development.

 Their many classmates and home school friends will hear and see them one of four ways: live-streamed on the web into their classroom, broadcast live over WDBJ7 network TV, experienced live in one of three concert performances for audiences of up to 2,000 attendees per concert, and/or viewed in the re- broadcast the following weekend.

 To our knowledge, there is no other orchestra or festival in Virginia that will be reaching this many people this year with such a collaboration, which represents a huge positive impact per dollar spent. Plus, residents of Floyd and surrounding communities will see their own rising stars in the orchestra, players like RYSO concertmaster Laurel Brooke and violinists Elizabeth Shelor and Aila Wildman, as we bring the opportunity to experience the full symphony in this magical way.

 Having prepared and led educational broadcasts in New York, I am now excited to have such broadcasts here — as Maestro Glazebrook and I conduct and narrate the orchestra for our neighbors in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. What a celebration of music and music education!”

Again, we thank our donors for making it possible for VBRMF to asssist in promoting classical music education for youth in our communities.