By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
EAST PROVIDENCE – This week, 10,000 Rhode Island third, fourth, and fifth grade students made their debut playing with the Rhode Island Philharmonic at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence.
The six concerts are the culmination of a year of school-based music education with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School’s FLEX [Foundations in Learning Exploration] program. The program is hoping to serve every elementary school student in the state within five years.
This is the second season of the Link Up program, developed by Carnegie hall’s Weill Music Institute, and part of the FLEX program.
“Link Up has grown by nearly 50 percent since last year,” said David Beauchesne, executive director of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School. “Rhode Island and surrounding communities want and need quality music education, and our community partners share our goal: to provide five years of quality music education to every elementary student in the state.”
The FLEX program also includes Listen Up, a five-year listening program and Phil Up, which is intended to follow students previously participating in Link Up or Listen Up as they move to middle and high school.