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. The 2018-19 Upper Elementary Concerts will allow students to compare and contrast the different styles/moods a composer depicts within a piece through ABA form.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 9:30am – sold out
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 11:15am – sold out
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 11:15am – sold out
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 11:15am – sold out
Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 9:30am – sold out
Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 11:15am – sold out
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 11:15am – sold out
Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 9:30am – limited seating
Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 11:15am – limited seating

Robert Franz, conductor
Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1
Bizet: Toreadors from Carmen
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, mvt 3
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, mvt. 3
J. Higdon: Spirit
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, mvt. 2
Saint-Saёns: March Heroique

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 designated seats for each school/group are provided.

Schools/Groups of 20 and more:
Students – $9.75
Adults – 1 free adult per 10 students (recommended ratio of students to adults)
Additional Adults – $9.75

Small groups (20 or fewer):
Students – $20
Adults – $20

Schools with at least 75% of students identified as economically disadvantaged qualify for even further reduced ticket prices. Payment plan options are also available. To learn how to qualify, contact


Please click the button to register.

Payment is not required at the time of registration, but seats will be released if contracts/letters of agreements are not returned within the time frame communicated in correspondence after registration.

Register Now


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

Student Concert Expectations

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.

9:30AM Concert—Bus Instructions to Jones Hall
11:15AM Concert—Bus Instructions to Jones Hall

These bus directions will be provided to the driver by one of the HPD officers on site upon arrival, but it may be helpful to communicate this information to your bus driver in advance. Please be sure to have your bus labeled with your school name and have your driver’s phone number with you.

Home School Parking Map

Most 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.

Videos for the 2018-19 Student Concerts will be available in August.

2017-18 Teacher Resource Videos:

These videos were created to assist both music specialists and classroom teachers in preparing students for the concert experience. Your role is an integral factor in the difference between students having a nice experience or a transformative learning experience by incorporating some of these prompts to prepare your students prior to the concert. Hearing the music before the concert allows the students to feel a sense of ownership and familiarity when they listen to this music live at Jones Hall.

These videos were designed to play for the students in the classroom as an introduction to an instrument, musicians who they will see performing on stage at the Upper Elementary Concert, and to provide insight into one of the pieces they will hear at the concert. Each of these videos include an active listening prompt.

After watching each musician video, play a recording of the piece the musician introduced linked underneath and have the students respond either in writing, through art work or in a class discussion.

Community-Embedded Musician Hellen Weberpal introduces the cello and Smetana’s The Moldau

After watching Hellen’s video, play Smetana’s The Moldau from the beginning through minute 3:36. While listening to the video: ask the students what kinds of scenes around the river the music makes them think of. Nobody is wrong!

Community-Embedded Musician Anthony Parce introduces the viola and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, movement 4

After watching Tony’s video, follow up by listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, mvt 4! While listening: raise your hand when you hear the melody that places an accent on beat two (instead of beat 1) that Tony demonstrated during the video. Play around with this idea that Beethoven demonstrated through music with a sentence. How can you make the meaning of a sentence change by putting emphasis on different words? Try using the sentence “I never said she stole my money.” How does placing emphasis on different words change the sentence, and how is that similar to the tricks Beethoven plays in this music?

Community-Embedded Musician David Connor introduces the double bass and Verdi’s La forza del destino

After watching Dave’s video, play Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino. While watching the video: listen for phrases played and then passed to different instruments. Think about how these repeated phrases become more exciting or interesting when they are passed to different instruments or sections. After listening, discuss other types of things (sports, stories, games, etc) that change whenever there are different people added doing the same thing at different times.

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: What is the admission fee?
Seats are $9.75 per seat for groups of 20 or more. For every 10 students, one complimentary adult seat will be allotted. It is highly recommended that schools adhere to this ratio of teacher/chaperone attendance.
Schools with at least 75% of their students identified as economically disadvantage qualify for even further reduced ticket prices. Payment plan options are also available. To learn how to qualify, reach out to
For groups of 20 or less, seats are $20 each. Complementary adult seats do not apply to groups of 20 or less.

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 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.
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



Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham and many more guest artists join the Houston Symphony for the new season. Subscribe to 9 concerts and 2 are FREE!