College Hosts Jennings students for St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Performance

Published on 13 November 2018

St. Louis College of Pharmacy recently welcomed 38 orchestra students from Jennings Junior High School and Jennings Senior High School for a live performance by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO). While on campus, the students had the chance to enjoy the sounds of a quartet of SLSO string musicians who graced the stage of the Academic and Research Building auditorium. The SLSO performance was presented as part of the College’s 2018-19 Liberal Arts Convocations series, which brings a variety of speakers, authors, musicians, dancers and other performers to campus each year with the goal of illuminating the complex human dimensions of health care.

This year marked the second year in a row that the College partnered with the SLSO to bring area music students to campus. This year’s visit was held as part of the SLSO’s newly launched Symphony in Your College – College Connections program, which links students from local school districts with higher education institutions in the St. Louis area.

SLSO College Connections gives students from selected schools in St. Louis City, north St. Louis County and rural southern Illinois the opportunity to experience a free one-hour chamber music performance by SLSO musicians, plus a comprehensive college visit, including a tour of the college and complimentary lunch. The College is one of six partner institutions in the College Connections program. Other partners include Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Southwestern Illinois College, McKendree University and Harris-Stowe State University.

“Last year, St. Louis College of Pharmacy hosted students from Ferguson Middle School for an SLSO performance on its campus, and that experience served as a catalyst for the development of the SLSO College Connections program,” said Maureen Byrne, SLSO senior director of education and community. “We realized the unique position the SLSO has to serve as a bridge to connect music students with area colleges during the formative years.”

Visiting students from Jennings Junior High School and Jennings Senior High School were able to view an SLSO ensemble performance featuring violinists Angie Smart and Andrea Jarrett, violist Morris Jacob and cellist Elizabeth Chung.

“This visit was a wonderful opportunity for our orchestra students,” said James McKay, director of orchestras at Jennings Junior High School. “Campus visits like these are important because they help students make the connection about college and really see what’s offered right in their own backyard. While not all of my music students may become career musicians, I want them to know that music can serve as a pathway to college and a career that they love.”

The recent SLSO College Connections performance at the College was the first in a series of events that will be held at partner institutions through February 2019.

“We are honored to serve as one of the partner organizations in the SLSO College Connections program,” said Brian Walter, Ph.D., professor of English at St. Louis College of Pharmacy and director of the Liberal Arts Convocations series. “It was a pleasure hosting the orchestra students from Jennings Junior High School and Jennings Senior High School on our campus, and we hope they were inspired by the outstanding performances they were able to witness. We look forward to working with the SLSO to host many more student groups in the years to come.”