HSSD Students Experience Arkansas Symphony

HSSD Students Experience Arkansas Symphony
Posted on 10/19/2018
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Thanks to special dedication and year-long preparation by the Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild, Garland County 3rd - 6th graders experience a memorable performance by the unforgettable Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) every year right here in Hot Springs. This effort began twelve years ago and has grown and expanded over time to include the 2,900 students that attended this week from across area school districts. The performance is a free event for all students (school districts pay a minimal fee per student to the Guild to help cover costs). Each year, ASO chooses a new theme for their student concert. This year musicians presented Story Time, which connected the excellent musical performance to favorite literary tales.


The Symphony Guild organizes the annual performance at the Bank OZK Arena and was fortunate to have over 50 volunteers this week. The Guild partners with Arkansas Learning Through The Arts (ALTTA) to create complementary curriculum for the music chosen at each performance, which includes a Student Journal and a Teacher’s Guide with a DVD of the music and  illustrative graphics. Development of the curriculum is heavily influenced by our own Hot Springs School District teachers including Mrs. Sue DeLeon, Mrs. Becky Counts and Mrs. Casey Wylie, who help write the majority of the Student Journal.


Curriculum developed for Story Time includes lessons and literacy activities tied to stories including Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse (curriculum is written specific to the age and grade level of students).Materials are written so that students can enjoy the music and reflect via lessons that are also tied to current Arkansas standards in literacy, math, science, and social studies. Teachers work each summer to take the new musical theme and tie it to updated curriculum. Teachers have access to the free curriculum, and opportunity to attend in-service training early each school year, so that they can weave content into lessons before and after the fall performance.


“I believe that the arts are inherent in our culture and reflective of everything we are and do. This experience illustrates for students how music isn’t a stand-alone thing. It tells a story,” said Mrs. Martha Smither, Guild Board Member, Children’s Concert Coordinator and ALTTA Board President. “I hope that the unique music presented each year inspires our children to learn about things that may be outside their horizons.”


HSSD deeply appreciates this performance opportunity made possible by the Symphony Guild. For many students, performances like this begin a lifelong involvement and enjoyment of music and arts. Thank you to all Symphony Guild members, volunteers, leaders, and supporters for making a difference in Garland County, and for our HSSD students.


Instructional Support Materials are available at the Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild website for the 2018 theme, and for themes presented over the last three years, here. Find the 2018 Story Time Student Journal, here. Find the 2018 Story Time Teacher’s Guide, here.


Learn more about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, here. Learn more about the Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild, and learn about ways to donate or support the ASO Children’s Concert and other efforts, here. Learn more about Arkansas Learning through the Arts, here.