2018 Viola Award Finalist for Community Impact (Organization)
Link Up connects the Flagstaff Symphony with students at 22 Flagstaff and regional schools by using an engaging hands-on curriculum. Kids have fun while learning core musical concepts through listening, singing, playing the recorder and composing. Link Up begins with teacher professional development, continues as students learn the year’s curriculum, and culminates with three interactive full orchestra concerts.
More than 3500 students from the Grand Canyon, Leupp, Williams, Parks, Page, Sedona and Flagstaff enthusiastically participate annually in a concert through this educational outreach programs of Carnegie Hall in New York. Mary Nebel has been the prime organizer of Link Up since its inception.
“Teachers and schools are adapting Link Up to enhance and extend student musical learning,” said Mary Nebel, chair of the FSO Education Committee. “Students love being a part of Link Up and the performance with the orchestra. Some students get so excited – they count the days until the concert.”
The concerts focus on a musical concept illustrated by the orchestra, the director, and an enthusiastic master of ceremonies. Large screens engage the student audiences with orchestra–oriented games, songs, and musician/instrument introductions. Students also join in with performances by the orchestra, singers, and student performers such as Can-Can dancers from Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, a drumline from Coconino High School, and on-stage singers from participating elementary schools.
Joe Rauschenbach, music teacher at Knoles Elementary, shares these concert responses from his students: Ciana: “Link Up is a fun experience for kids where you learn about all the instruments. We got to play our recorders and it sounded good with the symphony.” Kendall adds, “The musicians acted like a team, and I liked how they worked together.”
Diane Immethun, third grade classroom teacher at Sturgeon Cromer Elementary acknowledges, “Link Up brought the Flagstaff Symphony back into the lives of our students.”