New Maestro's Ball supports music education

Oklahoma City Orchestra League (OCOL), an organization dedicated to music education, added another gala event to its schedule this year.

The inaugural Maestro’s Ball combines a cocktail reception, dinner, concert and after-party with live music. It also features a magic show with Rob Lake performing.

Events raise funds for OCOL’s educational programs, as well as the Oklahoma City Philharmonic (OKC Phil) programs.

Maestro’s Ball will serve as the kickoff to each OKC Phil season beginning in 2016. It also will allow consistency in fundraising events, said Lisa Reed, executive director of OCOL.

OCOL and OKC Phil help fund 18 education programs, including several for elementary-age children. One of those, We’ve Got Rhythm, is in 65 elementary schools across Oklahoma.

“It’s an introduction to orchestra for kids in third grade,” Reed said. “The program reaches about 5,500 [students] all over the state. It’s so popular we have a waiting list of 25 schools.”

It is rare that any school drops We’ve Got Rhythm, so the waiting list changes very little year to year, Reed said. We’ve Got Rhythm puts an OKC Phil ensemble for a performance and a chance for students to get hands-on experience with instruments.

“Fine arts in Oklahoma’s public schools are limited at best,” Reed said. “Programs like We’ve Got Rhythm fill a critical need, assisting schools to meet the third-grade Oklahoma Academic Standards for Music while giving budding Mozarts the chance to find their passion.”

For kids who are more advanced, OCOL’s Music Competitions offer opportunities to win cash prizes and play in a winner’s recital. Reed said the competition this year was won by a 7-year-old pianist who competed against high school students.

The programs also focus on adults, with concert previews, beginning orchestra and master classes. Another event provides funds for OKC Phil musicians working on educational development. The fundraisers make it possible for thousands of Oklahomans to experience orchestral music, either as fans, students or musicians.

For Maestro’s Ball, participants can choose from several different options. Tickets are available for the entire evening, and packages feature the concert or concert and after-party. Guests must RSVP for dinner.

Tall Tales, Magic and Majesty, OKC Phil’s second concert of the season, features numbers by Paul Abraham Dukas, Ralph Vaughn Williams and Richard Strauss. The guest musician is German violinist Augustin Hadelich, and he is making his OKC Phil debut on Jean Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D Minor.”

Print Headline: Beautiful ball, A new gala helps raise funds for Oklahoma City Orchestra League and OKC Philharmonic.

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