Developed over 20 years ago as a partnership between The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and public schools in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the CONNECT program is a supplementary music education program, provided free-of-charge, in 10 partnering schools. The CONNECT program serves all students in the partnering schools, students in grades 1–5, approximately 4,000 students annually.
The CONNECT program is a constantly changing and ever-evolving program. In an effort to align the program with the organization’s overarching strategic goals, keep up with the constant changes within public school education and respond to feedback provided by our partnering schools in the annual CONNECT evaluation, some program changes and adjustments occur from year to year.
The program features a full-orchestra concert in a large concert hall setting that has been specifically designed for young audiences aged 6–2. The concerts are created in partnership with local actors, writers and collaborators and aim to deliver an engaging, informative and positive concert experience for students and educators alike.
In preparation for the concert experience, partnering schools are provided with multiple opportunities to engage with the music and featured yearly theme. (These points of engagement can include in-depth lesson plans relating to the repertoire, materials for students and staff to learn more about featured composers, playlists with ideas for incorporation of the music into the classroom, as well as CONNECTion videos to bring students closer to the material giving them an up-close look and personal connection to musicians, composers, and partnering artists.)
Participating schools in the CONNECT Program:
St. Paul Public Schools: Minneapolis Public Schools:
Eastern Heights Elementary Kenwood Community School
Expo for Excellence Loring Community School
Groveland Park Elementary Pratt Community School
Global Arts Plus Seward Montessori
Mississippi Creative Arts
For more information on the CONNECT program and a special feature at Linwood Elementary in St. Paul, check out MN Original’s special on The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra at 9’52” in the video below.