“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom."
VCO Education Programs
Local, State, and National Educational Television Outreach
The VCO has always been dedicated to the mission of sharing fine music with the broadest possible audience, focusing especially on students of all ages. Founding VCO members toured by bus to areas of the Commonwealth where orchestral concerts were seldom or never offered. Since 1998 the orchestra has taken the lead among all area arts organizations in reaching millions of young listeners nationwide by “touring” electronically via satellite-delivered educational television programs.
The orchestra was honored to be the first musical organization partnering with the Fairfax Network, the nation’s leading provider of high quality educational television programming for grades k-12. Other distinguished Fairfax Network collaborators include NASA and the Smithsonian Institution, to name just two. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate collaborated with the VCO and the Fairfax Network for History Notes: Music in Washington’s World in April 2010.
The VCO independently produced four programs which are beneficial for college students and educators when used singly or as a series: Music from the Age of Enlightenment, Music from the Baroque Epoch, Music from the Romantic Era, and Music by Modern Masters. Each production focuses on a major period in music history, touching briefly on literature, philosophy, visual arts, and general history of the period and relating the musical content to other college subjects as well. Guest Moderator is Aubrey Davis, host of the award-winning AROUND TOWN program of cultural commentary on public television’s Channel 26.
Ted Libby, the distinguished classical music commentator for National Public Radio and a former music critic for the New York Times, was a guest panelist for the Wonders of Geography program.
Programs are made available at no cost to public schools and colleges in the metropolitan area, the Commonwealth, and across the entire continental United States.
Streaming Video Programs
Most recently, free streaming videos of educational programs are available around the clock on the Web site through George Mason University's Capitol Connection.
At the suggestion of The Capitol Connection at George Mason University the VCO recently began streaming free videos of selected educational programs. They are enhanced with both their original study guides and new lesson plans created by outstanding instructors from the Fairfax County Public Schools. The lesson plans relate the programs to the Virginia and National Standards of Learning. The VCO is honored that the National Association for Music Education (MENC) has begun posting the lesson plans and drawing the attention of their 60,000 teacher members to the streaming video programs.
Wonders of Geography: A Musical Atlas of America is currently being streamed on the GMU Capitol Connections Web site. The Musical Side of Thomas Jefferson is now being streamed on the Web site of VEMEA (the Virginia Elementary Music Educators Association).