Education and Outreach

We offer many educational programs at St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra. All of which have an underlying motivation to build a community of musicians and music supporters in order to keep music vibrant in our culture. Through our programming, we seek to build a network that will support musical expression for years to come.

The impact of our educational programming and arts learning is significant. Without this type of purposeful education, many students would never experience an orchestra concert or have direct contact with professional musicians. 

Classical music is an important element in our culture, and we need to have young people involved and excited about all it has to offer. We believe our educational programs have a lasting impression and lead to a life-long appreciation of classical music. 

Classics for Kids

The purpose of Classics for Kids is simple: bring classical music to students. This program has two primary elements

Classic for Kids has two primary elements:

1. The orchestra demonstrates musical examples by bringing chamber ensembles into the fourth-grade classrooms in the thirteen elementary public schools of St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Rice, and Sartell. The visits include performances by the brass, woodwind, string, and percussion sections of the orchestra and give students the chance to interact with working musicians about music and performance.

2. The orchestra produces a formal concert for the 1,400 fourth-grade students. This concert is both educational and experiential. The conductor explains aspects of the orchestra and classical music to the students. A pre-event training session for teachers provides them with materials to prepare students for the concert.

Classic for Kids occurs during the 4th-grade, a perfect time to inspire the students to join band or orchestra in the upcoming year!

Young Performers Competition

Feedback from experienced musicians is critical in the development of a young musician. If you are a high school or college student, consider participating! 

  • The Young Performers Competition offers students the chance to perform before a panel of judges and receive written feedback.
  • The competition is open to high school and college students and has four categories: high school piano, high school non-piano, college piano, and college non-piano.
  • Winners in each category receive a $400 scholarship to continue studying music.
  • One musician is named the Grand Prize Winner and performs with the orchestra at the final concert of the season.
  • Outstanding participants from the Young Performers Competition are invited to participate in the Honors Concert and perform before an audience of friends, family, and community members!

The 2024 Young Performers Competition will be held on January 31, 2024 in the Performing Arts Center at SCSU.

2023 Scholarship Winners

Lorelei Schoenhard, Violin
TJ Stang, Piano
Laina Burris, Violin (not pictured)

Student Ticket Program

This program offers a ticket package for one student and two adults to attend a symphony concert for $25. Without this offer, the total cost for these three audience members would be $55. Our educational programming makes young people aware of classical music and encourages their participation in it, and the Student Ticket Program compliments all of our educational efforts by making participation affordable.