Today with Board Chairman, Tim Ridge, and President and CEO, Mary M. Briggs, the orchestra is reaching out to all the other musical and art organizations in a spirit of cooperation. Working together with the Chamber, the Arts Center, musical and choral groups, and local schools, they hope to foster new relationships and work together to bring recognition of all the arts and culture available on the Island. Brigg’s plan to work with the Boys & Girls Club and the local schools to foster music in the youth of the community is meeting with great success.
Local programs include:
Partnership with the Hilton Head Boys and Girls Club
This partnership offers violin instruction in an after school program at the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head for youngsters in grades K through 5. At this time that program is in dire need of new violins since the program continues to grow through the grades. Many of the smaller size violins are in need of repair and there is a constant need for new and repaired bows. The symphony hires teachers and assistants for this program.
HHSO Youth Concerto Competition:
Since 2007, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra has sponsored a Youth Concerto Competition for the Southeastern Region of the United States. Its purpose is to provide talented young musician the opportunity to perform standard orchestral repertoire from memory before an audience. The winners have an opportunity for recitals and opportunity as a soloist with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
Educational Programs in Schools – Music Bridges
John Morris Russell’s passion for music education has made him one of North America’s leaders in orchestral educational programming. Since beginning his tenure with the HH Symphony Orchestra, he has visited numerous local classrooms introducing students to musical sounds and instruments in the hopes of encouraging the appreciation of classical music. Last year he began the “Music Bridges” program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in two local elementary schools, Red Cedar and Hilton Head Elementary.