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Education & Community

The mission of the KSO is to develop and sustain a symphony orchestra of the highest artistic standards and to reach East Tennessee audiences of all ages by providing excellence in musical performance and education programs. The KSO Education & Community Partnerships Programs aim to do just that. Here are just some of the ways we impact children and families in our communities.


KSO Concerts in the Community

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra provides classical music for communities in the region that may not have the opportunity to hear a live orchestral performance, and many of these performances are free of charge. KSO musicians have performed in communities throughout Tennessee, including Athens, Crossville, Dandridge, Greeneville, Harrogate, Jefferson City, Maryville, Morristown, Sevierville and Tellico Village, as well as in Richlands, Virginia. The KSO takes pride in its dedication to serving this region, and we are thrilled to provide live orchestral music for the people of East Tennessee. Read more.

KSO Library Story Time

Designed especially for little ears, the KSO Library Story Time Program has recently expanded to serve the East Tennessee Counties of Knox, Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cumberland, Hamblen, Hawkins, Roane, Sevier, Union, and Washington. The KSO Story Time string quartet visits 16 Knox County Library branches, public libraries across East Tennessee and pre-kindergarten classrooms each year to perform a 30-minute program where stories come to life with music. This program is designed for pre-school aged children and their parents. Read more.

Young People's Concerts and Very Young People's Concerts

The KSO presents full symphony orchestra concerts specially designed as field-trip opportunities for elementary school students. The Young People's Concerts, which take place in the fall, are designed for students grades 3-5. The Very Young People's Concerts, which take place in the winter, introduce students in pre-K through 2nd grade to the KSO's animated friend, Picardy Penguin. Through thematic narration and exciting visual elements such as video projections, props, costumes, and guest artists these concerts are one of the most unusual and imaginative programs available to introduce kids to classical music. Read more.

KSO in the Schools: "Classroom Quartets" and "Meet the Musicians"

Through KSO in the Schools programs, educators have the opportunity to bring KSO musicians to perform in elementary schools for an "up close and personal" performance and learning experience. Students are exposed to classical music, learn about instruments and have dialogue with professional musicians. The Classroom Quartet program uses themed programming such as game shows, music and movement, or integrates story-telling. This program serves young people in grades 3-5 throughout the Knoxville area each year. Read more.

Music and Wellness

Established in 2004 by Lucas Richman, the KSO's award-winning Music & Wellness program has expanded to several types of healthcare facilities in East Tennessee. The mission of this program is to provide live musical performances that enhance the healing process as well as to benefit patients and their families, visitors and staff in healthcare settings. Read more.