Our Service to the Community
Because the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra is a performing ensemble composed almost entirely of amateur musicians, we are able to integrate educational and community service activities more naturally into our concerts than can professional arts organizations, whose primary mission is to serve the art form. Our concerts frequently present a showcase for student achievement and talent. Whether it’s a songwriting contest for elementary schoolchildren, a platform for gifted high school musicians or a launching pad for college students bound for a career in music, our orchestra is an eager partner in these formative experiences for young people. Even our annual holiday concert for children is named for the philanthropic gesture we and our patrons make to assist the Fort Worth Police and young children in family crises.
FWCO Teddy Bear Concert
Since 2002, our annual holiday concert for children has been dedicated to collecting stuffed toys for local children in crisis. Though the concert is free – as are all of our home concerts – we ask our patrons to bring one stuffed animal to donate to the Fort Worth Police Department. The police officers carry the toys in the back of their patrol cars to hand out to children when responding to domestic disturbance calls. The experience can be frightening and traumatic to a young child, but having a lovey to hold onto can calm a distressed boy or girl caught in a fearful and confusing situation.
FWCO Carol Writing Competition
In 2004, FWCO music director Kurt Sprenger conceived an annual songwriting contest expressly for elementary schoolchildren. The students – working either individually or in groups and with help from their school music teacher – compose words and music to a seasonal carol of their own creation. The entrants are judged by the quality of the melody and the lyrics, and the selected songs are professionally arranged for voice and orchestra. The annual unveiling of these “brand new” holiday carols has become a FWCO tradition and one of the highlights of our Teddy Bear Concert. Read more…
FWCO Young Musicians’ Concerto Competition
FWCO inaugurated its annual concerto competition for young musicians up through high school age in 2011. In the few years since its inception, we have seen our alumni move on to the next stage of their career progression; our first year’s winner, Katelan Terrell, is currently a student at the New England Conservatory of Music. It’s our privilege to perform alongside such gifted performers and to offer them the invaluable experience – often for the first time in their lives – to perform in concert as featured soloists with a symphony orchestra. Read more…