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.
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.
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.
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.
Last season, Soundscape reached a record 1400 K-12 age children. While some school districts and arts organizations we have traditionally partnered with are dealing with continuously evolving situation in the current academic year, we are confident that we will be able to resume Soundscape presentations in 20-21. We believe that in the coming year thoughtfully curated presentations can be particularly helpful to children in coping with destabilizing effects of the pandemic on their lives.
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, 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).