In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, the San Antonio Symphony formed a partnership in 2017 with QWILL Media & Education, Inc. of Canada, Blessed Sacrament School of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, and two other local schools for a 17-classroom, multi-disciplinary pilot program. Through the program, students of 4th and 7th grades participated in QWILL (Quality Writing Inspires Lifelong Learning) Media’s recently-introduced, 9-12 week literacy curriculum scaffolded around the text of award-winning author Lois Burdett’s book A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Kids and Shakespeare’s original play. At the conclusion of the literacy curriculum and as a culminating enrichment activity, students attended a corresponding San Antonio Symphony Young People’s Concert at the Tobin Center featuring Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream coupled with narration from Burdett’s children’s book in the first-ever comprehensive pairing of these works. Local storyteller Miss Anastasia of The Twig Book Shop took on the role of narrator for these concerts. Additionally, an advanced troupe of dancers from Children’s Ballet of San Antonio (CBSA) performed beautifully alongside the Symphony, presenting original choreography created by CBSA Founder and Artistic Director Vanessa Bessler to go with the story and music. Performances conducted by Symphony Assistant Music Director Noam Aviel took place Dec. 13, 19 & 20, 2017, for a total sold-out audience of some 9,000 children.
For more information about the QWILL resource, visit whyqwillme.com
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is a presenting partner for San Antonio Symphony Young People’s Concerts.