Key to Change enters into multi year partnership with the Seattle Symphony 

Amariah Strand, a current Key to Change student performs a “pre concert” recital as an opener before the Seattle Symphony performs in February 2020. Key to Change students will have an opportunity to open for the Seattle Symphony, participate in numerous musical activities with orchestral musicians and compete in the inaugural concerto competition during our Solo String Festival. The winner will receive a professional debut to perform a solo with the Seattle Symphony.

The Seattle Symphony announced today that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with Key to Change where string students will have an opportunity to participate in numerous musical activities, including participating in masterclasses with orchestral musicians, accessing free tickets to concerts and workshops, performing in a “pre-concert” recital as an opener for the Seattle Symphony, performing concerts in Benaroya Hall, and competing in the inaugural concerto competition during our Solo String Festival. The winner will receive a professional debut to perform a solo concerto with the Seattle Symphony. 

As one of three organizations participating (the Seattle Youth Symphony and Kids in Concert are also respective partnerships), the partnership will be centered around enhancing musical education for racially and economically diverse youth, particularly in the South King County area. These partnerships formalize and augment the important, ongoing community work already undertaken between Key to Change and the Seattle Symphony organizations. This partnership will help build a solid foundation to further evolve longer-term collaboration, expanding opportunities for historically underserved youth across the Puget Sound region to enhance their musical development and broaden music education access in the community.

Dr. Quinton Morris, Executive Director of Key to Change with Krishna Thiagarajan, CEO & President of the SeattleSymphony (center) and Jérémy Jolley, Director of Education with the Seattle Symphony. Watch the announcement and launch on Unmute The Voices.

Thea Weinbeck, first place winner of the 2021 Solo String Festival performs in Benaroya Hall. Through the new partnership with the Seattle Symphony, students will have the opportunity to perform in the respected concert hall.

The Seattle Symphony’s collaboration with Key to Change has already created successful moments of musical exploration for young students. After creating masterclasses with cellist Seth Parker Woods while he served as Artist in Residence in 2020, Key to Change was the recipient of a Community Stages Fund grant from the Symphony. The grant provided organizations access to the Symphony’s streaming infrastructure which allowed Key to Change to connect with its audience and supporters digitally during the height of the pandemic through the Solo String Festival. Key to Change has a long history of removing structural barriers and helping underserved young musicians and students of color follow a path towards a flourishing music education experience and will continue to play a pivotal role in the work undertaken during this exciting partnership.

“The Seattle Symphony is thrilled to take part in this new and very important relationship with three wonderful organizations working hard to improve music education for youth in underserved areas of Seattle,” said Krishna Thiagarajan, President & CEO of the Seattle Symphony. “The Symphony truly believes that we are stronger when we work together, and we are excited to see how this partnership leads to more and better musical training for young musicians in our community. We look forward to seeing new faces at Benaroya Hall and working with these key community partners to improve music education.”

“I’ve had a longstanding relationship with the Seattle Symphony that started when I was a teenager in the early ’90s when my teacher played in the orchestra,” said Dr. Quinton Morris, Executive Director of Key to Change. “Partnering with the Seattle Symphony feels like a full-circle moment. I’m very excited about the collaborative, positive impact we will have on students in South King County. Through our partnership, students will study and experience music at a high level, providing access to opportunities that they could have never imagined. My hope is that, through our partnership, we will be able to create experiences that are transformative to the musical and human development of our students, that my teenager self would be proud of.”

As part of these ongoing partnerships, the Seattle Symphony will provide masterclasses with Symphony musicians and guest artists, sectional rehearsal, and panel discussions with Symphony musicians, staff, board, and crew members about careers in the arts. Students from these organizations will also have access to open rehearsals and free tickets to Seattle Symphony and Benaroya Hall events, and opportunities to perform with the Seattle Symphony and at Benaroya Hall. 

Watch the full announcement on Unmute The Voices or read the full press release.

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