Hopewell Board of Education renews partnership with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Scott Jacobs
The Blawenburg Band played classic band tunes at the Hopewell Train Station parking lot on July 9 in Hopewell Valley.

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District partnered with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) for the 2019-20 school year.

During Hopewell Valley’s school board meeting on July 15, board members voted unanimously to approve the partnership.

Board President Alyce Murray, Vice President Adam Sawicki, board members Peter DiDonato, Deborah Linthorst, Jenny Long, Michael Markulec, Debra O’Reilly, Susan Pollara and Sarah Tracy each voted for the motion.

“For several years, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra has come to each of our four elementary schools to offer students a workshop on symphonic music and instruments,” Board President Alyce Murray said. “The BRAVO program has become an integral part of our elementary music program and exposes our students to a wealth of classical music. Professional musicians work with our students to help them learn about symphonic instruments and the beauty of symphonic music.”

The agreement is for Bear Tavern Elementary School in Titusville, Hopewell Elementary School in Hopewell, Stony Brook Elementary School in Pennington and Toll Gate Grammar School, which also resides in Pennington.

“The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is excited to continue our multi-year partnership with the Hopewell Valley Regional School District. Our professional musicians will visit all four elementary schools as part of our PSO BRAVO! Education Program,” said Katie Curatolo, manager of artistic operations for the PSO. “Through engaging music presentations, they will introduce students to the four instrument families of the orchestra: strings, winds, brass and percussion.”

She said the partnership culminates each year with Hopewell schools attending the PSO’s BRAVO! school day concerts at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, a full-orchestra concert designed just for students.

According to orchestra officials, PSO BRAVO! provides education programs that explore new and innovative ways to engage youth with music. The program consists of a variety of in-school visits to masterclasses with renowned guest artists, and reaches over 10,000 students from area schools.

“This partnership provides an incredible experience to our students that enriches their world,” Murray said. “For most of our students, this is the first symphony concert they will experience.”

She said the programming is all provided free of charge to the district.

“We receive positive feedback from students, staff and parents every year. We are grateful to the PSO for providing this valuable experience to our students, making this an easy vote for our board,” Murray said.

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