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Comment on : Artwork By Middle School Students, Inspired by Princeton Symphony Orchestra Concert, Will Be Showcased March 21

Artwork By Middle School Students, Inspired by Princeton Symphony Orchestra Concert, Will Be Showcased March 21

Princeton, NJ, March 11, 2010 … Nineteen students from Princeton area middle schools will exhibit original artworks – whose creation was inspired by the classical music they heard at a Princeton Symphony Orchestra concert – at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on March 21.

The lobby display will coincide with a unique pairing of great art with great music on that day by the PSO and the Princeton University Art Museum: The PSO will present the concert “Romance, Majesty and an Orchestral Icon” at 4 p.m. in Richardson, followed by a tour of the art museum’s new exhibit, “Architecture as Icon: Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art.”

The sixth- through eighth-graders were participants in the third annual Listen Up!, an extension of the PSO’s BRAVO! education program. On January 24, the students and their art teachers attended a PSO concert conducted by Rossen Milanov, the orchestra’s new Music Director. The students were then asked to create a work of art in response to Alberto Ginastera’s Latin-flavored Variaciones concertantes, one of the works heard on the program.

Participating schools included Stuart Country Day School, the Hun School of Princeton, Princeton Charter School, and Montgomery Upper and Lower Middle Schools.

The artwork, created in a variety of media by the students, includes depictions of nature and animals, abstract renderings, and scenes of wartime and hunting.

“In my painting, I used acrylics and bold strokes to add drama to my piece,” writes Emma Young of Skillman, an eighth-grader at Montgomery Upper Middle School. “I played Variaciones concertantes while I painted, I moved my brush to the rhythm and I hummed along. I feel as though I captured the ups and downs of this song in my painting.”

“The animals in my painting are based on the specific instruments in each movement of the piece Variaciones concertantes,” says Julia Zollner of Pennington, an eighth-grader at the Hun School of Princeton, about her project. “I had inspiration from the different sounds of the instruments. When I heard the high notes of the movement with the flute I immediately thought of the flight of a small bird, and when I heard the movement with the double bass I thought of a bear because the sound reminded me of a large lumbering animal.”

Through Listen Up!, middle school students connect with Princeton’s sophisticated cultural scene, in the company of their peers – introducing them to the appeal of live performance as guests of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. After listening intently to the concert, the students express themselves by creating imaginative artwork and writing accompanying essays. Unplugged from iPods and other high-tech gadgetry, the students discover what makes live performance of classical music an unforgettable experience.

The PSO thanks the following teachers who dedicated their time and energies so that their students could participate in this innovative project:


Arlene Milgram, Montgomery Lower Middle School

Aurelle Sprout and Peggy Rose, Montgomery Upper Middle School

Phyllis Wright and Madelaine Shellaby, Stuart Country Day School

John Sabol, the Hun School of Princeton

Elisa Hirvonen, Princeton Charter School


This year’s participants included:


The Hun School of Princeton: Ashley Cheng (Hillsborough); Elizabeth Mydlowski (Hamilton); Adrian Hertel (Princeton); and Julia Zollner (Pennington)

Montgomery Lower Middle School: J.D. Yang (Skillman) and Juliana Kim (Belle Mead)

Montgomery Upper Middle School: Jennifer Brukhman (Princeton); Lindsay Epstein (Belle Mead); and Emma Young, Marina Torchia and Emily Cai (all of Skillman)

Stuart Country Day School: Vanessa Li and Emma Kaplan (both of Princeton); Kate Blandford (Hopewell); and Maya Kuang (Somerset)

Princeton Charter School: Thais Calvarin, Ugne Kirvelevicius, Taylor Chiang and Ellen Sproule (all of Princeton)