Soundscape educational outreach program was initiated by Market Square Concerts in the 2008-2009 concert season to ensure that children in our community enjoy access to the same level of excellence in performing arts as their peers in large metropolitan areas. Soundscape continues to evolve based on the feedback of community and educators.
Since its inception, thousands of students, as well as many others, have attended Soundscape presentations by world-class musicians. Schools who have participated include: Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School, St. Stephens Episcopal School, Sci-Tech High School, Harrisburg Academy, Nativity School, Harrisburg High School, Foose Elementary, Hershey High School, Carlisle High School, Cedar Cliff High School and Cumberland Valley High School.
Market Square Concerts regularly collaborates with the Harrisburg Symphony, Whitaker Center, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Messiah University on Soundscape presentations. Artists who performed special programs and gave masterclasses in recent years include the Grammy Award winners, Third Coast Percussion and Parker Quartet; Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Career Grant winners, Michael Brown and Francisco Fullana; legendary pianist, Ann Schein; Hungarian violin virtuoso, Kristóf Baráti; Gold Medal winner of the Tchaikovsky International competition, Romanian cellist Andrei Ionita; Harrisburg native, composer, Jeremy Gill; pianist and world-renowned vocal coach, Mark Markham; Stuart Malina, Tony Award-winning music director of the Harrisburg Symphony, as well as both MSC directors. Soundscape also introduced children in Central Pennsylvania to the unique art of groups such as Music from China, Calefax Reed Quintet from the Netherlands and New York-based early music Four Nations Ensemble; as well as to the music of contemporary American composers such as John Adams, Jeremy Gill, Daniel Dorff, Eric Sessler, Kile Smith, Gwyneth Walker and Tom Kraines.
In the last several years as part of Soundscape, MSC began developing a joint outreach music program in partnership with UPMC Pinnacle and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center which included performances for patients and staff at the Ortenzio Cancer Center, as well as a series of curated musical presentations at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. As part of “Soundscape” efforts to provide access to great live performances for all children in our community, MSC offers free tickets to all K-12 school-age students with $10 tickets available to one accompanying adult. Tickets are also offered to college students for $5.
Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have reached thousands of K-12 and homeschool students with curated virtual presentations helping children cope with destabilizing effects of pandemic on their lives during the 2020-21 season. In our upcoming 40th Anniversary season we look forward to resuming live Soundscape presentations featuring award winning Harlem and Arianna Quartets, as well as venerable British pianist Stephen Hough.
MSC is eligible to receive corporate support through the (EITC) Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. MSC is grateful to Avalon Insurance Company, Pennian Bank, Mid Penn Bank and McInroy Sheffer People Trust for the generous support of Soundscape. MSC’s Soundscape Program is also one of the recipients of the "Whitaker Center Lois Lehrman Grass Performing Arts Fund: Youth Performing Arts Program Partnership Grant," as well as the "Arts for All Partnership Grant" by the Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) and the Cultural Enrichment Fund (CEF).