School Residencies

The School/Orchestra Artistic Residency (SOAR) program allows students the opportunity to create in-depth interactions between themselves and the professional musicians of the VSO through mentorship and coaching. Students are also able to attend VSO concerts, usually at no charge.

Other programs available under the SOAR program are Small Ensemble Specialty Programs. Specialty programs utilize two to five VSO musicians in settings which allow children and adults alike to explore the various aspects of music through the musicians’ performances and question and answer sessions. These programs are 45 minutes to one hour in length. These programs include:

  • Meet the Families Series:
    • Meet the Strings: Science of Sound: What does physics have to do with a string quartet? Students will discover how simple vibrations turn into beautiful melodies as musicians explore the science of sound in an interactive performance of some of the world’s most loved string quartets!

    • Meet the Brass: Crowns and Capes:Discover story-telling through music with the Virginia Symphony Brass Quintet. This family-friendly show is full of audience participation and creative thinking. How can music sound heroic or mischievous? Help us unlock the secret! 

    • Meet the Woodwinds: Melodies in Motion: What makes a melody interesting? Learn how composers create melodies and characters by exploring form and colors in music. Find out about how sound is made on each instrument and bring it all together with a final performance of the beloved classic Peter and the Wolf!

    • Meet the Percussion: Shake, Scrape, Strike: How do percussionists make sound? Explore the unique sounds of percussion instruments in this interactive performance exploring rhythm and vibration. Strike, scrape, and shake alongside VSO percussionists and see how anything can be an instrument!
  • Come Blow Your Horn – Great for Pre-K through 2nd graders, this dynamic french horn duo will captivate their young audience!
  • Big Bad Musical Wolf – Using special musical arrangements specifically created for this program, the flautist, bassoonist, trombonist, and double bassist take students through the stories of the Three Little Pigs, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and a musical story from the Wolf’s point of view entitled “B.B. Wolf” by Jon Deak.
  • Professional Development Program (PDP) – The focus of this program is to reach music educators who want more information about instrumental pedagogy. In a relaxed setting, VSO musicians share their expertise and insight on teaching young instrumentalists.

VSO Guest Artist: Andrew von Oeyen

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has extended his interpretive voice to a broad spectrum of repertoire as both a soloist and recitalist. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, he performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award winning PBS live telecast.

‍Mr. von Oeyen has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, in Mexico City, Hanoi, Macau, and in every major concert hall of Japan and South Korea. Festival appearances include Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Mainly Mozart, Saratoga, Schubertiade, Spoleto, Brevard, Grand Teton, Chautauqua and the Mariinsky’s “Stars of the White Nights.”

Mr. von Oeyen has recorded for Warner Classics since 2017. His albums under that label, including works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin and a disc including Debussy’s Fantaisie pour Piano et Orchestre, have been met with critical acclaim. Mr. von Oeyen has also recorded award-winning recital albums of Liszt, Debussy, and Stravinsky under the Delos label.

Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Léni Fé Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.