Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Asheville Lyric Opera's Grassroots Award brings opera education to local students

This spring, the Asheville Lyric Opera began a new education and outreach initiative that seeks to foster an appreciation for the power of vocal music in youth from our area. This series was connected to the company's fifteenth anniversary programming, profiling the regional identity of Western North Carolina through the arts. The ALO was proud to receive funds for this program from Grassroots Arts Program and Wells Fargo.   

For years, the ALO has been an active part of the arts experience provided to students in Buncombe County Schools and through community organizations. In previous projects, students have participated in productions or hosted performances of their own. Education projects in recent years have featured diverse experiences presented directly to students. In 2013, students were invited to attend a guest lecture and master class by internationally acclaimed tenor, Lawrence Brownlee. This year, the project focused on bringing hands-on experiences to students in school classrooms or assemblies, as well as to meetings of community organizations.  

These activities included listening to live singing by an opera singer, participating in vocal exploratory exercises themselves, examining the way styles of singing adapt over times and places, and discussing the power of the human voice and its role in our communities.
In addition to these experiences with students, the Asheville Lyric Opera is continually working to partner with classroom teachers and youth leaders to identify ways in which arts organizations can work together with schools and community groups in order to best serve the youth in our area. Arts experiences for young people have proven benefits while strengthening pride and community involvement. The ALO strives to ensure these opportunities are offered to students of diverse backgrounds.

This project received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.  For more information about the education and outreach programs of the Asheville Lyric Opera, or if you are a teacher or leader of a community youth organization interested in becoming involved, please visit ashevillelyric.org/outreach or contact info@ashevillelyric.org or 828-236-0670.

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