Bring your students to experience the Houston Symphony this year!

Part of The Robbins Foundation Student Concert Series, the Upper Elementary Concerts are 55-minute, full orchestra concerts, presented in Jones Hall during the school-day for students in grades 4-5. Students will hear the Houston Symphony perform masterworks and will learn about the orchestra. These concerts facilitate students’ acquisition of active listening skills and inspire students to begin or further their involvement in music. 

2019-20 UPPER ELEMENTARY CONCERT DATES/TIMES:
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 11:15am
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 9:30am
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 11:15am
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 9:30am
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 11:15am
Tuesday, March 4, 2020 at 9:30am
Tuesday, March 4, 2020 at 11:15am
Tuesday, March 5, 2020 at 9:30am
Tuesday, March 5, 2020 at 11:15am

SEATS:
Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis and concerts are limited to students in grades 4-5.   Physical tickets are not printed for these concerts, but assigned seats are provided for each school/group based on the total number of seats purchased.

Schools/Groups of 20 or more:
Student Tickets:
$9.75 – Non-Title One schools
$5.00 – *Discounted rate for Title I schools 
$0.00 – *Free tickets for Title I schools with populations over 75% economically disadvantaged
* See the “Discounts” section below for more information.

Adult Tickets:
$0.00 – 1 free adult per 10 students (recommended ratio of students to adults)
$9.75 – Additional Adult

Small groups (20 or fewer):
$20.00 – Student Ticket
$0.00 – 1 free adult per 10 students (recommended ratio of students to adults)
$20.00 – Additional Adult

DISCOUNTS:
Grades 4 and 5 are a very important time for students to experience the orchestra, as they will soon have the opportunity to choose band or orchestra. The process of learning an instrument can have a tremendous impact on students’ academic and life-skills. Therefore, we make our best effort to make the ticket fees accessible to all schools.

Schools with at least 75% of students identified as economically disadvantaged qualify for free tickets. All other Title 1 schools are eligible for $5 discounted tickets for this series. Free and discounted tickets are available while supplies last, on a first-come, first-served basis once registration opens on September 9.

One grade-level per school can receive free or discounted tickets. We recommend selecting the grade level before students would have the option to begin playing an instrument (different for each district).

To learn how to qualify, please contact education.community@houstonsymphony.org.

Payment plan options are also available for all schools.  

REGISTRATION:
Registration will be available on September 9, 2019.

To sign up for registration email reminders for our 2019-20 Student Concert Season, contact education.community@houstonsymphony.org.

PROGRAM:
Specific repertoire and program content will be available in August prior to registration opening.

Please review and share the resources and procedure guidelines below to ensure a safe and enjoyable concert experience at Jones Hall.

Day-of Concert Guidelines:

These guidelines will help you, your fellow teachers and your students stay organized during the busy concert day. Please share this with all of the teachers attending the concert and take some time during class leading up to the concert to discuss the student rules and concert etiquette with your students.

Bus Arrival Instructions to Jones Hall 

9:30 Concert – Bus Instructions to Jones Hall
11:15 Concert – Bus Instructions to Jones Hall

Once you have arrived, the instructions below (subject to change based on the city/traffic circumstances on any given day) will be given to the driver by one of the HPD officers on site. It may be helpful to communicate this information to your bus driver in advance. 

9:30 A.M. Concert – Parking Instructions
11:15 A.M. Concert – Parking Instructions

Please be sure to have your bus labeled with your school name and have your driver’s phone number with you. 

Arrival Instructions for Small Groups 

Most small private or home school groups arrive in separate cars. When you arrive, please check in with a Houston Symphony staff member to get your seat assignment. Please note that the front entry-way gets very crowded, so we recommend going to your seats upon arrival rather than waiting outside for the rest of your group.

Parking instructions for Private Vehicles 

The 2019-20 Pre-Concert Lesson Videos will be available January 2020. For Pre-Concert lesson ideas, please see below.

Videos for the 2018-19 Upper Elementary Concerts

This year’s Upper Elementary Concert is structured around ABA form. This concert not only supports the music foundation TEKS around musical form and creative expression, but also reinforces classroom teachers with the concept of sequencing. The ABA form is particularly helpful to reinforce beginning, middle and end by identifying contrasting styles and sounds in music in a consistent form.

We encourage both music specialists and classroom teachers to utilize these videos to prepare students for the concert experience. The students will also recognize the musicians in this video when they see them on stage performing at the concert. The ideas below each video are optional and can be used as an extension.

Associate Conductor Robert Franz introduces the 2018-19 Upper Elementary Concert

Extension: After watching this video of Robert Franz introducing the concert you will be attending, take a few minutes to go over the student rules listed below under the “Day-Of Student Rules” tab so they know what to expect.

Introducing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, mvt 3

Optional extension after playing this video for your students:

  • Objective: The student will work as a group to come up with settings to go along with the contrasting sections within Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, mvt 3.
    1. Split the class up into groups of approximately four students. Similar to how Dave referred to the sequence of a day (home, school, home) in the video to relate to the form of this movement, have each group come up with their own setting (i.e. beach, mountains, carnival, parade, school, etc.) that they think would best complement the “A” and “B” sections in this movement. Using this recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, mvt 3, play the beginnings of each section as needed.
      A – beginning to 1:50;  B – 1:50 to 3:12;  A – 3:12 to the end
    2. Have each group write down why they chose each setting. What about the music reminded them of the setting?
    3. Have each group explain to the class the settings they picked and why they picked each.
    4. Extension – come up with a plot to go along with the movement. If the members of your group were together in each setting (in the ABA order), what might you experience together to flow with the entire movement. Another words, the group might experience something different when they come back to their “A” setting based on what happened in their “B” setting.
    5. Notes: please reinforce the idea of having no right or wrong answers. There is flexibility within the sequence of this activity. Students can act out the setting (or plot), draw/color, etc. Working in groups helps to support social and emotional learning goals.

Introducing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, mvt 2

Optional extension after playing this video for your students:

  • Objective: The student will identify character traits that relate to the different sections within Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, movement 2.
    1. Go around the classroom and talk about different personality traits of each of some of the students. Broad characteristics like soft-spoken, likes to move really quickly, sweet, likes to joke, rambunctious, organized, etc. This can also be done in teams of 2 or 3.
    2. Composers have a secret power: they can intend to portray certain things, ideas or people without an audience member even knowing. The audience also has the power of interpreting the music to mean, or to be about, certain things, people or ideas. Every audience member can have a different idea. Rainel talked about the composer Shostakovich’s intention for the A and B sections of his Symphony No. 5, movement 2. His intention was to describe the characteristics of a person. Based on the style, mood and sounds you hear in the different A and B sections, write down different personality or character traits you think each section describes.
    3. Play Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, movement 2. This piece is in ABAb form. The B section comes back for just a bit before ending. Play the different sections a few times for students to write down different characteristics and styles.
      A – beginning to 1:50;  B – 1:50-3:22;  A – 3:22 – 5:00;  b – 5:00 to end.
    4. Share personality/character traits in small groups or teams. If appropriate come up with a person who matches the personality types described.

A private concert for your classroom!

Lesson extension after playing this video for your students:

  • Objective: The student will develop movements or gestures based on the style, mood and sounds within contrasting sections of music.
    1. As a class, come up with different gestures that tie to the different “A” and “B” sections of the music. Play this video again and do those movements along with Rainel and Dave playing.
      A – 1:13 to 2:29;  B – 2:29 to 3:15;  A – 3:15 to 3:46;  B – 3:46 to the end.
    2. Like Czardas (the piece played in this video), one of the pieces that will be performed at the concert describes the life in folk culture, describing people dancing, socializing and enjoying life. This piece, Les Toreadors from an opera called Carmen, is in ABA form. What movements/gestures can we come up with to describe the different styles and sounds of the A and B sections?
      A – beginning to 1:06; B – 1:06 to 1:57; A – 1:57 to the end.
    3. Play the recording of Les Toreador once again and add in the movements or gestures the class came up with, letting the class identify when the sections change to start doing different movements.

Q: How do I make a reservation?
A: Once registration opens (Aug 21), visit the Upper Elementary, Middle School or High School Concert webpages and complete the online registration form. You will receive a confirmation that your request has been received. Up to three weeks following your request you will receive a Student Concert Attendance Contract to be completed by you and your principal.

Q: When will I get my tickets?
A: Physical tickets are not distributed. Each school has assigned seating that accommodates the number of students and adults you have registered for.

Q: How are seats assigned in the hall?
A: All seats are assigned according to group size or specific seating needs. For example, if you should have a group of 300 people, you will only be able to sit together as a group in certain areas of the hall that can accommodate that number, while a group of 50 may fit in another area. Please prepare your students to be ready to sit in ANY area of the hall. All seats have excellent views of the stage!

Q: I have students with special needs in my group: can you accommodate them?
A: If any member of your group has special needs, please inform us on your registration form or via phone upon making a reservation, specifying the nature of their needs.

Q: Do I need to make arrangements for my school’s transportation?
A: Yes. The Houston Symphony does not provide buses for schools attending Student Concerts. The following organizations are good resources for schools needing field trip transportation assistance:

Target Field Trip Grants: Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. Target accepts grant applications between noon CST Aug. 1 and 11:59 p.m. CST Oct. 1.

Donors Choose: Schools can post their need on donorschoose.org. This is an online charity connecting donors to classroom projects and trips.

The NEA Foundation: The NEA Foundation frequently partners with other organizations to offer grants for projects in specific subject, grade and geographic areas. Find out if any of our special grants align with the work you’re doing.

Q: What time should we arrive for the performance?
A: Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the concert is scheduled to begin.

  • 9:00AM for 9:30AM concerts
  • 10:45AM for 11:15AM concerts

Q: How long are the Student concerts?
A: Each concert is approximately 60 minutes with a 30-45 minute dismissal time.

Q: Are homeschool students allowed to attend the Student Concerts?
A: Yes, with some conditions. Each concert is designed for specific age groups and we recommend that students of the corresponding age group attend the appropriate concert. Please reserve seats with your Homeschool Co-op to ensure child care for the students outside of the appropriate age range. Grades 4-5 (ages 8-11) for Upper Elementary Concerts, and Grades 6-8 (ages 11-14) and students who play musical instruments for the Middle School Concerts. Ages 0-7 are not permitted for any of these concerts, but are welcome at our Family Series.

Q: If I am coming by car, where do I park?
A: Parking is available in the theater district parking garage near Jones Hall for $10.
Visit the Downtown Houston website for a parking map.

Q: What is the dress code for Student Concerts?
A: Schools are welcome to have their students wear their school or field trip shirts or, to make the experience special, encourage their students to dress up.

Q: When will I receive my Teacher Resources?
A: Teacher resources will be available online to the schools up to one month prior to the concert.
ALL
teachers in attendance are to review concert etiquette and rules in the Teacher’s Guide with their students prior to the performance. Teachers are also responsible for setting an example of concert etiquette and helping to enforce the rules during the performance.

Q: May I bring a camera?
A: No. Cameras and recording devices are prohibited in the concert hall.

Q: Can we bring food to the concert?
A: No. Food and drink, including chewing gum, are prohibited in the concert hall.

Q: My group wants to stay to eat sack lunches after the concert. Is this possible?
A: Yes! Jones Plaza is across the street from Jones Hall and is a great place for a post-concert picnic. Police officers will be on hand to help you and your students cross the street to Jones Plaza. If you choose to picnic at Jones Plaza please do the following: 1) Prior to your concert, notify the Houston Symphony of your plans to walk to Jones Plaza for lunch. 2) Keep all lunches labeled and together in a large container with your school name labeled on the container. Unload the lunch container from the bus when you arrive so it can be stored in the lobby. Food is prohibited inside the concert hall. Each lunch should be labeled with the students’ name.

Q: May I have a refund if a student is absent?
A: Refunds are not possible. Payment is due two weeks prior to the concert to secure the number of seats you may need for all of your students, teachers and chaperones to attend.

Q: What is the address where the Student Concert is performed?
A: The address for Jones Hall for the Performing Arts is 615 Louisiana Street 77002. Please use dropoff directions found here.


Ruth & Ted Bauer Family Foundation
George & Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation
The Hearst Foundations

Kinder Morgan Foundation
The Newfield Foundation
The Robbins Foundation

             

VIEW THE 2019–20 CLASSICAL SEASON

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