Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s Sympatico program expands to Patrick Henry

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The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Mari- anna Prjevalskaya at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in April. (Photo credit: Katya Chilingiri Balaban)
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By Missy Schrott | [email protected]

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s Sympatico program, a music education program for Alexandria students, is expanding to Patrick Henry K-8 School in September, according to a news release.

ASO Sympatico is modeled after El Sistema, a global music education movement that began in Venezuela more than 30 years ago, according to the release.

ASO launched Sympatico at John Adams Elementary School five years ago. Since then, it has grown so that about 130 students participate in six different ensembles before and after school, according to the release.

Starting this fall at Patrick Henry, Sympatico will offer two music ensembles that will meet after school Monday through Thursday. A choral and Orff instrument ensemble will be offered for grades three through eight, and a mixed strings, wind and percussion ensemble will be offered for grades four through eight.

“We are very excited about bringing this experience to Patrick Henry,” Patrick Henry Principal Ingrid Bynum said in a statement. “As a school that values education through arts and music programming, this is the perfect fit for our community. We are looking forward to seeing our students flourish even more this school year through access to this opportunity.”

Program costs will be covered by ASO donors, according to the release. There is no prerequisite for enrolling, and ASO will provide bus transportation for Sympatico participants. David Evans and Fred Montgomery will lead the programs.

“Sympatico is the beating heart of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to change lives in our community through music,” ASO Music Director Jim Ross said in a statement. “It is more than an educational initiative. It is a way of life for our organization … one that is as vital to our existence as it is to the young lives of those who participate.”

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