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WPS students participate in Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s Virtual Young People’s Concert

WPS students participate in Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s Virtual Young People’s Concert 

Cessna Elementary 5th grade students displaying their artwork for Wichita Symphony virtual concert For many years, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra has invited WPS students to Century II for a daytime concert in an effort to expose students to classical music. Due to the pandemic, the in-person concert wasn’t able to happen this year, so the district’s Fine Arts department partnered with the symphony and Ion Concert Media to create the virtual concert, “Sea Creatures.” 

To create the video, the symphony performed Daniel Kallman’s “Sea Creatures” (wind octet version) and art teachers from Bostic, Cessna, Griffith, Kelly, McLean, Minneha, OK, Seltzer and Woodman elementary schools inspired their students to create marker and crayon drawings and watercolor paintings that were animated by Scott Winters of Ion Concert Media. 

The video takes viewers on a journey through the waters of planet Earth, introducing various sea creatures through high-definition photos and videos of the animals. It features members of the Wichita Symphony performing the music, animated artwork created by WPS students and narration by Dr. Alicia Thompson, superintendent of the Wichita Public Schools. 

Phillip Robl, an art teacher at Bostic and OK elementary schools, said his students were thrilled at the opportunity to participate in the project. 

“The Sea Creature Symphony presented a new and unusual opportunity for my students to work with video media,” said Robl. “Students were excited to work in collaboration with a composer, concert media artists, the symphony orchestra, as well as their peers from other Wichita public schools. They were able to see the whole picture and were excited about their part in bringing this vision to life.” 

"While there is no substitute for hearing live music, this project demonstrates the adaptability of the Wichita Symphony during this year impacted by COVID-19,” said Don Reinhold, CEO of the Wichita Symphony. “I congratulate the collaborative creativity and contributions of our partners in this delightful production."

 “Thank you, WSO, for the opportunity to collaborate on this exceptional virtual concert.” said Shawn Chastain, Executive Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Wichita Public Schools. “We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our WPS student, instructor and superintendent talent.” 

The virtual performance will be available for streaming at WichitaSymphony.org on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2021.