The Boulder Philharmonic believes that live orchestral music is for everyone and is committed to providing a wide array of opportunities for people throughout our community to encounter the life-enriching power of classical music.

We are one of 200 American orchestras to participate in a national effort to support in-school music education. We’re committed to taking community-specific action to improve access to music education in schools through performances, partnerships and advocacy.  More info

Discovery Concerts
The Boulder Philharmonic’s Discovery Concerts take students in grades 3-6 on a journey to explore orchestral music in a fun, interactive format featuring nationally-acclaimed Music Director Michael Butterman. Students attend a 50-minute performance during the school day designed to support and coordinate with their core curriculum.

Previous Discovery Concerts have linked architecture with music and presented how music can lend itself to narrative, showed how music can express both positive and negative emotions, and linked music and visual art to help make music’s abstract nature more tangible and understandable. Teachers are provided curriculum guides, lesson plans and a Spotify Playlist of repertoire to help prepare their students for the experience. Many students also receive a visit from Michael Butterman or one of our chamber ensembles in preparation for the concert. Our goal is to inspire students to begin instrumental study through the public schools, which studies show lead to improved academic performance in other areas as well.

This season’s Discovery Concerts will be held online in April 2021. Contact Sara Parkinson for more information: 

Meet the Maestro

Through his classroom visits, Maestro Butterman becomes a resource for area music educators, visiting their classrooms and rehearsals while offering an enriching experience from the perspective of a local professional musician. With elementary schools, he often presents a session about conducting that explores the relationship between teamwork and leadership. These visits culminate in students leading their classmates in conducting simple musical passages. With middle schools and high schools, he leads rehearsals of the school bands, orchestras and choirs in repertoire they are preparing, reinforcing the work of their directors while offering his own interpretive insights. For more information or to schedule a school visit, please contact Sara Parkinson at 303-443-9203.

Read Michael Butterman’s guest opinion about music in the Boulder Valley School District, published in the Daily Camera on 2/25/10: Music is instrumental to the BVSD

Early Explorer’s Program: In partnership with Integral Steps and Boulder County Head Start

The Boulder Philharmonic, in partnership with Integral Steps (early education and Dalcroze Eurhythmics specialists) and Boulder County Head Start (preschool program for low-income families), has created an interactive introduction into the world of orchestral music. The goal of this classroom programming is to introduce our youngest audience members to important musical elements and to inspire creative expression and self-confidence at the earliest part of educational development. Music, movement, and active listening are all part of what the students learn in this 8-week curriculum that this year centered around Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’. The program culminates in a classroom visit by a Boulder Phil percussionist to introduce preschoolers to percussion instruments and explore rhythm and music together.

Additional Education & Outreach Programs

The Boulder Phil make access to our performances easy through $5 tickets for students. Our Pre-Concert Talks provide an opportunity for adult audience members to get “inside the music” before our classical programs.

Your gifts or volunteer work in support of our education and outreach programs are much appreciated and are critical to our success in enriching our community through the magic of music. Donate now!