ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (FOX) – K through 12th-grade metro art students are spending class time enrolled in a unique program offered by the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra. Concertmaster and Publicity Director Wendy Cieslak and Vice President and Art and Music Organizer Marlene Bryan visit the set to discuss the program and their upcoming concert events.
The Art and Music program is now in its 10th year and was originally conceived by Albuquerque Philarmonic Orchestra’s music director at the time, David Feldberg. The program was inspired by Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” that was based on artwork by Mussorgsky’s friend Victor Hartmann.
Felberg thought it would be interesting to take the opposite approach, creating artwork visualizing the music. During the Art and Music program, students spend class time learning about and listening to the music and composers chosen for an upcoming concert.
One of the Philharmonic Orchestra members creates an information sheet each year on each composer with information on the music.
Students then create interpretations of the music in drawings, paintings, and photographs. In the last decade, over 2,500 students have participated in this program from about seven schools throughout Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
This year, the program has had 317 art pieces that have been submitted. This artwork will be projected behind the orchestra during the Art and Music Concerts and will also be displayed in lobby areas at upcoming concerts.
By engaging young students at school through these activities APO hopes to spark an interest in future musicians and audiences, contributing to the long-term health of classical music in Albuquerque.
This year, “Pictures at an Exhibition” will be played at the concert along with “Academic Festival Overture” by Johannes Brahms and “Star Wars Suite” by John Williams.
The 10th Annual Art & Music Concert will be held on Friday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Albuquerque High School and on Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m. at V. Sue Cleveland High School. The concerts are open seating and children are welcome.
While the event is free, donations are appreciated. Additional information on the Art & Music concerts is available at Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra’s website or call 505-433-7445.