SFA's Symphony Orchestra performing for Nacogdoches ISD's second grade students

SFA’s Symphony Orchestra recently performed for Nacogdoches ISD’s second grade students in an educational concert.

Dr. Gregory Grabowski

Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities at SFA, addresses NISD second graders during an educational outreach initiative between the school district, SFA School of Music and the Music Preparatory Division.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Symphony Orchestra at Stephen F. Austin State University recently presented a concert for approximately 450 Nacogdoches ISD second grade students in an educational outreach initiative and collaborative partnership between the school district and SFA School of Music and its Music Preparatory Division.

“The primary goal of the concert was to introduce young children to classical music and provide them with an exhilarating live performance experience in the newly renovated Turner Auditorium at SFA,” said Alba Madrid, director of Music Prep.

Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities at SFA, conducted the student orchestra in a performance of Hector Berlioz’s “Symphony Fantastique.”

“The students were captivated by the orchestra’s energetic performance,” Madrid said. “They loved getting to hear all the individual instruments and learning the story behind Berlioz’s ‘Symphony Fantastique.’ Dr. Grabowski did an outstanding job capturing their attention and nurturing their interest in music.”

According to Madrid, exposing children to the arts, particularly music, at an early age holds “immense significance for their overall development and well-rounded education.”

“Music provides a unique outlet for emotional expression and can help children better understand and manage their feelings,” she added. “Moreover, group music activities, such as playing in an orchestra, foster teamwork, cooperation and communication, which are essential life skills.”

Deshmond D. Johnson, director of fine arts for NISD, stated, “We are excited to strengthen the bonds of our partnership with the university as we provide quality educational experiences for our students. The importance of fine arts in education is a priority at Nacogdoches ISD, and opportunities, such as this, support many principles for the development of the whole child.”

Among the objectives of the educational concert was to inspire a new generation of music enthusiasts.

“Additionally, the presence of a young audience seemed to bring newfound enthusiasm and energy to the performers and conductor,” Madrid said.

Information about Music Prep programs can be found online at the Music Prep website or by calling (936) 468-1291. Madrid can also be contacted at musicprep@sfasu.edu. Parents can also find program information on Facebook and Instagram. The Music Prep House is located at 3028 Raguet St. Office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.