Carnegie Hall, Enid Symphony Orchestra and The McKnight Center Partner to Bring Music Opportunities to Stillwater Elementary School Students

STILLWATER – (Apr. 5, 2022) Carnegie Hall, the world-renowned musical institution, is collaborating with The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts to engage Stillwater Public School students with orchestral repertoire through hands-on music curriculum.

Throughout the school year, Stillwater Public School students have had the opportunity to learn how to sing and play a musical instrument in their classrooms through Link Up: The Orchestra Swings, a Carnegie Hall program. Their learning will culminate with two concerts by the Enid Symphony Orchestra at The McKnight Center at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6.

“Music can connect what children hear to how they feel, expanding how they see themselves and the world,” said Sarah Johnson, Carnegie Hall’s Chief Education Officer and Director, Weill Music Institute. “Our work in Oklahoma would not be possible without the participation of incredible educators and partners inside and outside the classroom.”

Students have had access to 1,000 recorders to learn the musical curriculum. The experience will conclude with an exciting concert that allows third-, fourth- and fifth-graders to play recorders and sing alongside the professional musicians of the Enid Symphony Orchestra from the audience of The McKnight Center. Overall, approximately 1,400 Stillwater Public School students have participated in the Link Up program and concerts in the first year. The partnership will continue in future years, rotating through four different musical curriculums.

“We hope to enrich the quality of life in students through American jazz music repertoire and to provide them with a front seat to musical learning and exploration,” said Douglas Newell, music director and maestro of the Enid Symphony Orchestra.

As a world-class epicenter for the arts, the concerts will take place in The McKnight Center, providing local students with another unique, immersive learning experience. The concerts are not open to the public, but a private livestream link will be sent to the participating schools for any parents that want to tune in.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with well-revered institutions such as the Carnegie Hall and the Enid Symphony Orchestra,” Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director Mark Blakeman said. “These incredible partnerships provide impactful learning opportunities for young students to foster their talents and cultivate their love for music. This unifying experience offers an avenue for Oklahoma students to learn how to sing, listen and play great music in a state-of-the-art performance hall.”

About The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University is a world-class epicenter for the arts dedicated to attracting celebrated national and international programs with notable performing arts productions and artists. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State University's commitment to the arts to inspire and transform lives through artistic excellence, creative experiences, and impactful learning opportunities.

About Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall's mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists, and audiences.

About the Enid Symphony Orchestra
The mission of the Enid Symphony Association is to maintain a symphonic ensemble which will enrich the quality of life in the Greater Enid area and serve as a cultural ambassador to the region and state. This is to be accomplished through the presentation of predominately classical symphonic music to an ever increasing audience representative of the diverse population of our constituent community.

The McKnight Center
Meg Cathey