For the past 17 years ONS has played an increasingly active role in educational programming in Dallas and abroad. Sponsored by the Hillcrest Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts and generous individuals it now reaches more than 1500 students each year in classrooms, in specially designed teaching programs and in private lessons.
In-School Educational Concerts
The Orchestra plays its regular concert Spanish language baroque ‘villancicos’ (Spanish Christmas carols) and tonadillas (solo voice and chamber orchestra tales of daily life) to Dallas ISD and parochial schools throughout the Dallas Metroplex, with the goal of reaching Hispanic and Title X schools. The aim of these in-school programs is to provide cultural heritage enrichment for students from K to G8, linking elements of history, geography, language, culture and music modified to age level. Dossiers are made available to teachers to prepare the students. Presentations include listening tips and demonstrations of period instruments.
In 2013 the Orchestra and DISD arranged an exciting master class for music students at Booker T Washington, with select ONS players and musicians of Boston’s Rumbarroco. The event was filmed for teaching purposes.
Field Trips to the Theater
Since 2013, DISD has provided buses in a collaborative effort to bring in approximately 650 children to special performances of the Orchestra’s staged productions: the zarzuela Cupid’s New Weapons of Love in 2013, The Rise of Flamenco in 2014, and Villa y Corte, the Music of Goya in 2015 at the Dallas City Performance Hall. The Orchestra’s annual staged production is a destination for Dallas ISD as well as for charter and privateschool audiences. Supported by Dallas ISD, Arts Partners, Big Thought and private sponsors.
Summer Strings Camp
In 2015 the Orchestra of New Spain conducted its 5th annual Dallas ISD Summer Strings Camp, a one-week program for (G3 – 8) of intensive instruction and rehearsal, led by ONS musicians and music director and DISD music teachers. This program was developed by ONS at the invitation of DISD as a complement to existing band camps. It receives financial help from DISD, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and private donors. Its success can be measured by the growth of the project, from 100 students in 2011 to 250 in 2015, with plans for continued growth. These programs have a larger benefit for youth, in that they develop discipline and group effort, and generally result in better performance in school. As of 2014 the Orchestra, DISD and TCA have begun offering a limited number of small group private lessons during the academic year to students.