Serving the musical and educational needs of Minnesotans is part of our mission. Thanks to support from foundations and individuals, we have developed many education and outreach programs over the years. We are best known for three hands-on programs:

Music in the Schools (MIS)

The Sinfonia’s MIS program excites students by using classical music as a bridge to learning in math, history, science, social studies, and literature. Last year, we served 12,000 students at 20 inner-city (mostly) elementary schools; and since the program began in 1989, more than 150,000 Minnesota students have participated. Our MIS program is free to schools and students and is based on MN state academic standards.

We offer a three-month curriculum co-developed by the Sinfonia and local teachers and each program culminates with a visit from the entire MN Sinfonia orchestra. Musicians visit classrooms to interact with students, show and explain their instrument, and share stories. Then, everyone gathers for a fun, interactive concert highlighting the music and classroom activities from the preceding weeks. School choirs and orchestras perform with the Sinfonia for their peers, parents, and community members, all to rousing cheers from friends and fellow classmates.

The theme of MIS for the 2019-20 school year is ANIMALS: OUR MOST FASCINATING NEIGHBORS.

Watch video, review the curriculum, read testimonials, and  learn more about it here!

Youth Outreach Week (YOW)

Every summer young musicians are invited to experience a “week in the life” of professional orchestra players by participating in intensive instruction and rehearsals, and then join the MN Sinfonia in performing a concert at the beautiful Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis. The Sinfonia puts out a call for entries each spring and music students and teachers throughout the state respond.

Young Artist Competition (YAC)

The Sinfonia’s YAC is held each spring and is an outlet for talented young string players to play in front of and receive quality feedback from Sinfonia judges. The competition is designed to be friendly as well as challenging in that participants receive personalized instruction from judges — Sinfonia musicians and its conductor. The feedback includes compliments on the many good aspects of the performances, as well as constructive suggestions of how to improve technique and musicianship. Winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to perform solo pieces accompanied by the Sinfonia at events held annually.


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