The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce that Union Savings Bank will sponsor the RSO’s Education and Outreach Initiative for the 2017-2018 season.

“The Education and Outreach Initiative programs are a way to touch the lives of students, seniors, and members of SPHERE,” RSO Executive Director Laurie Kenagy said.

“United Savings Bank’s sponsorship makes it possible to help fulfill the RSO’s mission of increasing music appreciation for people of all ages and abilities.”

As a participant in the Ridgefield Senior Gold Card program, the RSO is offering 10 free tickets to its concerts on a first-come, first-served basis to cardholders.

Whenever possible, the orchestra will make an additional allotment of tickets available to residents of Ballard Green, an independent living community subsidized by the Ridgefield Housing Authority.

“We also have a great ongoing relationship with the Meadow Ridge retirement community,” Kenagy told The Press.

“Small-ensemble performances and open rehearsals in the auditorium make it possible for [Meadow Ridge] residents to interact with our musicians and enjoy a live music experience in their home environment.”

Music education

Professional musicians from the RSO also visit local elementary schools and present lively interactive programs tailored to different grade levels of music education. These in-school programs are partly sponsored by the Ridgefield Rotary Club.

In conjunction with the Ridgefield Public Library, the orchestra provides programming in music appreciation and education. Guest conductors and RSO board member Alexa Donaldson, owner of Sharps & Flats Music Conservatory in town, present engaging and informative programs prior to concerts. Visiting guest solo artists provide master classes at no charge to student musicians.

In addition, the RSO makes it possible for school groups and their families to visit dress rehearsals to learn about what goes on behind the scenes during performances.

RSO and SPHERE

And the innovative partnership between the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra and Ridgefield’s SPHERE (Special People, Housing, Education, Recreation) is the only one of its kind nationwide. Through instruction and performance geared to those with developmental disabilities, the partnership provides unique experiences with lasting and life-enriching benefits.

Ridgefield is the smallest town in the United States with a professional orchestra, and for 53 years, the RSO has been a vital part of the cultural community. Sponsorship like that of Union Savings Bank makes artistic and community outreach possible.