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.