Making a difference with “Orchestrating Kids Through Classics”Last year, I was asked to join the board of the Lexington Symphony, which has been performing for audiences in my hometown for many years. And as I became their newest board member, Lexington Symphony became the newest client to partner with us at Genesis HR Solutions.

Since it began operations more than 26 years ago, Genesis has partnered with a number of small, non-profit organizations. And while I feel a PEO partnership is a natural for the non-profit community, the purpose of writing this is not to delve into the merits of a business relationship. Rather, my intent here is to share a story.

Last Friday morning, I made my way to the Cary Town Hall in Lexington. While there, I was joined by several hundred third grade students who were there to experience Lexington Symphony’s “Orchestrating Kids Through Classics” program—or as it known—“OKTC.”

When maestro Jonathan McPhee took the stage, the kids settled in, and the orchestra exploded into action with the theme from Star Wars. If you want to get the attention of a pack of third graders, this is the way to do it! And from there, the maestro and his supporting cast took the kids on a voyage of music through history. It starting with chanting monks and ended with a menacing Darth Vader parading the auditorium. And in between, the kids learned about instruments and composers that undoubtedly stirred interest in many of them. Absent the music, you could have heard a pin drop throughout the performance.

A couple of years ago, I attended a Lexington Symphony performance that included a magnificent performance of the Theme from Schindler’s List by Hana Chang, an amazingly talented and inspiring 12-year-old violinist. She also performed at OKTC last week. Who knows? Perhaps the inspiration of the OKTC program and young musicians like Hana will inspire a passion in some children who, without this wonderful program, may never have had the chance.

Sadly, school budgets have been slashed in many jurisdictions in recent years, and music and arts programs are often compromised or eliminated. It is refreshing to see an organization like the Lexington Symphony step in and inspire creative young minds. Apparently, the Lexington Chamber of Commerce feels the same way—the night before the last OKTC performance of the season, the Lexington Symphony was awarded the Community Initiative Award. It was an honor well deserved.

Photo caption: Fred Johnson, Past President of the Lexington Symphony and Maestro Jonathan McPhee accept the 2017 Community Initiative Award.