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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Old Dominion University and Virginia Symphony Orchestra Sign Collaborative Agreement

By Betsy Hnath

Old Dominion University and the Virginian Symphony Orchestra (VSO) have signed a collaborative agreement to encourage presentation, growth, education and continued development of music in Hampton Roads. The agreement will be announced at a side-by-side concert featuring the ODU Symphony Orchestra and the VSO Thursday at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach.

In addition to solidifying an existing relationship between the organizations, the agreement outlines future projects including:

  • An annual University/VSO "Presents" series.
  • Master classes for students by VSO conductors or soloists.
  • Workshops for students with VSO musicians and special access to Open Rehearsals.
  • Discounted tickets for ODU music students and faculty, including a free "Class Pass" for Department of Music students to attend all Classics and Pops! concerts.
  • A week-long summer camp for high school instrumental and choral students to be held at the University.
  • Integrating VSO programming with the University's Strome Entrepreneurial Center and Health and Wellness to create research opportunities for ODU students.
  • Performance opportunities:
    • ODU Symphony Orchestra will continue its annual side-by-side with the VSO for both orchestral and choral students.
    • Students will rehearse with the VSO and receive supplemental coaching in preparation.
  • Professional development opportunities:
    • Administrative internships.
    • Education and Community Engagement volunteer opportunities assisting VSO musicians.
    • Minority Fellowship Program for string instrumentalists.

"Old Dominion University has a proud and longstanding commitment to music education," President John R. Broderick said. "With this new agreement, we will now extend those opportunities for our students. In exchange, the Virginia Symphony, we believe, will greatly benefit from the energy, perspective and diversity of the University."

Nancy Klein, professor and chair of the Department of Music, said the new initiative is one of the "tremendous benefits of being a part of the vibrant Hampton Roads community."

"The Department of Music has been excited to join in this exciting collaboration that provides exceptional opportunities for our students, the Symphony and the University, and the community at large," she said. "ODU and the Department of Music are able to provide musical opportunities for our music students through this collaboration that are unsurpassed by any other university in Virginia."

Karen M. Philion, president and CEO of the VSO, is equally thrilled about the new agreement.

"The VSO is proud to add meaningful value to the music students at ODU by offering educational and cultural opportunities that will enrich their college experiences," she said. "This new type of partnership is unique in the state of Virginia and across the nation."

The Old Dominion Department of Music offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in six programs with several concentrations. It has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1978.

The VSO, led by conductor JoAnn Falletta since 1991,will celebrate its 100thanniversary in 2020. As the largest performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and its Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events to educate, enlighten and entertain more than 100,000 residents and visitors each year. The VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in the media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and BBC Worldwide News.

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