Science and the Symphony

Encourage kids to explore the wonderful and exciting boundary-free relationships between music, science, math and technology.  

The Raleigh Symphony offers inter-disciplinary music and science workshops to WCPSS elementary school classes, grades 3-5.

The world is changing at a fast pace: automation, artificial intelligence and globalization mean that now more than ever, the next generation needs to be imaginative, adaptable and adept at recognizing and solving problems.  To kids, the world is their oyster, and it’s an inter-disciplinary world ripe for exploration and learning.  Our Science and Symphony program fosters and encourages the kind of mental flexibility and curiosity that children will need to compete and flourish as their lives unfold.

Students engage in fun hands-on activities and experiments which reveal the amazing connections between music and biology, acoustics, physics and math.   On day one, the students get to build, design and play their own banjos which they craft from ordinary household items and supplies which are provided.

Using Cornell University’s Raven recording and editing software, they have fun recording, graphing, analyzing and experimenting with animal sounds as well as those they create themselves.  They will enjoy live musical performances, plus try out and learn about the ways in which many different musical instruments work.

Students conduct many scientific experiments including making objects jump with sound waves, testing musical bottles and wine glasses, and amplifying and distorting bizarre sounds.  After creating and rehearsing songs together, they end the week by performing with many instruments, most especially their hand-crafted banjos, which they can keep.

Concerto Competition

The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the nineteenth annual statewide Raleigh Symphony Orchestra Concert Competition for musicians ages 15-23.

Auditions will be held Saturday, January 5, 2019, at Carswell Recital Hall and Jones Auditorium, at Meredith College in Raleigh.

Up to four applicants will be selected as winners of the Benjamin Kilgore Gibbs Award with the opportunity to perform with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra in a classical concert on February 23, 2019.

Complete details regarding the competition and application forms will be released in September 2018. At the time, it is important that applicants be given copies of both the general information sheet and application form to pass on to your colleagues.

Should you be chosen as a winner and the rental for the accompaniment exceeds $200, we require that the soloist fund the difference.

Your concerto must be available for rental. All auditions are to be played from memory. Please make sure to bring three sets of music for judges on the day of your audition – copies are ok as this is an educational event. If taking cuts, please mark all copies appropriately.

We welcome all student participation. Our concerto competition continues to be very successful due to the extremely talented young musicians who audition every year. If you have any questions, please contact me via email at

Deadline for entries: Friday, December 14, 2018

Audition date: Saturday, January 5, 2019

Artists in the Schools

The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra offers these imaginative musical programs which engage, educate and entertain students.

Coloring Stories

An interactive performance that features audience participation in “creating” a story. Recent performances include a “dramatic” reading of the Dr. Seuss classic, “The Cat in the Hat” with percussion accompaniment that was followed by the ever popular “Green Eggs and Ham”. Designed for grades K through 3.

Ugly Duckling and Wolfie Locks

Grades K-5, audience 300-400, Length: 45 min. These stories deal with gossiping and bullying. Wolfie Locks, is introduced by reminding children of some of the lies that have been told about the “big, bad wolf”ť and how these led to his being mistreated in such classics as “Peter and the Wolf”ť. The presentation weaves a little of the “Three Little Pigs”ť, “Red Riding Hood”ť, and even the “Three Bears” into the story. In my re-telling of the classic story, The Ugly Duckling, the music brings the feelings of the little duckling to life. Children become very involved as the music and story express his struggle to find his place in the world.

All that Jazz!

A study of jazz forms and cultural differences that influenced jazz styles. Demonstrations include roles jazz players engage: lead, bass line, rhythm, and the focus of jazz as a conversational trading of musical lines. Style form discussions include: Bebop, Latin Jazz, Jazz, Fusion, R&B, Smooth Jazz, Funk, and Modern Jazz, just to mention a few. Designed for middle school age students.


All of this is made possible by the United Arts Council of Wake County. Each imaginative musical experience for students is a link, please click on them to find out more information on what we offer with the United Arts Council.