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Preludes School Visits

Every year the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra reaches thousands of students from grades K-12 through its Preludes outreach program. Preludes takes members of the orchestra into classrooms in Charlottesville, Albemarle and surrounding areas, offering a variety of musical programs. Participating members include the professional principal musicians, who are faculty in the McIntire Department of Music, as well as many of the orchestra's student and community musicians.

In Preludes, children become acquainted with the names and characteristics of the orchestral instruments; the sounds that instruments produce; which instruments are similar and how they are different. Students also learn how music is used as a language and a means of expression. Older students are often coached on their own instruments in master classes or group tutorial settings. Programs are tailored to the needs of individual schools so that the experience is relevant to the school program and the students' education.

Members of the orchestra began visiting schools through the Preludes program in the Fall of 2001. The programs introduce youth to the instruments of the orchestra and bring innovation to traditional classroom studies. A teacher at Cunningham Elementary School called the program "very informative, age appropriate, and creative. As a teacher, I would give them an A-plus." A Cale Elementary School student said of one visit, "I didn't like the music you played, because I LOVED it."

Read a short article about our Preludes program and its coordinator, Elizabeth Roberts, to see how students can be inspired by music in the classroom.

For further information about our outreach programs, please contact Elizabeth Roberts, Director of Youth Education, at


Preludes receives support from the Francis J. Sheridan Fund and from generous individual donors to the orchestra.

Preludes Visits Information

Learn more about Preludes Visits
Download Preludes Information Letter

Request a Preludes Visit

Would you like to schedule a musician to visit your students?
Download Reservation Form

Preludes Evaluation Form

Evaluate your visit
Download Evaluation Form

Faculty Handbook--Preludes Visits

Download Faculty Handbook