Symphony Education Partnership

Symphony Education Partnership

Fig.1 - Symphony Education Partnership 2023 - Al Simmons performing with the Kingston Symphony at the Isabel Bader Centre

It is an important part of the Kingston Symphony’s mission to provide accessible, educational programming to young people in our region. The Symphony Education Partnership is a unique collaboration between the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University, the Limestone District School Board, the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and the Kingston Symphony Association. Every March, the Kingston Symphony presents four concerts for Grade 4 students. In preparation for these concerts, Queen’s University music education students teach a set curriculum written by a member of the Queen’s University music faculty to participating classes.


For over 25 years, Grade 4 students from throughout Kingston and the surrounding region have attended the annual Symphony Education Partnership for a morning of music, learning, and fun. This past year, they were dazzled by the magic and wit of children's performer Al Simmons. Over 2,000 students attend these performances each year.

All of the major instruments in the orchestra are showcased. The concert is a blend of education and live performance. It begins with Kingston Symphony Music Director, Evan Mitchell, providing a brief introduction to each instrument; how they work, what makes them unique, and what sort of music the instrument often plays in the orchestra. The orchestra then performs a piece that focuses on that instrument in action.

Program Partners

The Symphony Education Partnership brings the Kingston Symphony together with both local school boards and Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. A music education professor at Queen’s University writes a curriculum, music education students teach this curriculum to the Grade 4 students prior to their attendance at a concert, and then the Kingston Symphony performs a concert; traditionally a total of four concerts over two mornings for students and their teachers.