Soundscape educational outreach program was initiated by Market Square Concerts in the 2008-2009 concert season as an expression of our commitment to ensuring that children in our community deserve access to the same level of excellence in performing arts as their peers in large metropolitan areas.
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.
The artists who performed special programs and gave masterclasses in recent years include the Grammy Award winner, Parker Quartet; Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Career Grant winners, Michael Brown and Francisco Fullana; legendary pianist, Ann Schein; Hungarian violin virtuoso, Kristóf Baráti; Harrisburg native, composer, Jeremy Gill; pianist and world-renowned vocal coach, Mark Markham; Stuart Malina, Tony Award-winning artistic 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.
Soundscape continues to evolve based on the feedback of community and educators. In addition to chamber music masterclasses and string orchestra clinics, MSC collaborates with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Whitaker Center on a series of special annual presentations, “Sound and Movement,” for children to explore human expression through dance and music. Market Square Concerts also collaborates with the Harrisburg Symphony and Messiah College on a variety of Soundscape projects.
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. In addition to continuing many of our collaborative projects in the upcoming season, we look forward to a mini-residency featuring the Grammy Award winner, Third Coast Percussion, which will include “Think Outside the Drum,” a special program for elementary and middle school students, and a masterclass for students at Messiah College.
MSC offers free tickets to all k-12 school-age students with $10 tickets available to one accompanying adult. Tickets will also continue to be offered to college students for $5.
MSC is eligible to receive corporate support through the (EITC) Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. MSC is grateful to Avalon Insurance Company, Highmark Blue Shield 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).