GLENS FALLS — The Glens Falls Symphony is branching out from the concert hall to the community to emphasize “Immerse Yourself in the Music,” the theme of its 2017-2018 season.
The symphony will partner with Crandall Public Library, downtown restaurants and area schools to offer community programs, many of them free, including film showings and children’s story times at the library and after-concert performances at downtown restaurants.
The effort dovetails with themes and composers at the orchestra’s five regular concerts.
The new “audience engagement initiative” is intended to create greater awareness in the community of the orchestra’s sponsors, more so than increasing ticket sales, said Jennifer Brink, the orchestra’s executive director.
“We have an obligation … to share that with as many people as possible. We want to come to the people where they are,” she said.
The schedule of community events is still being finalized and will be released in early October.
“Part of what we’re waiting for is that we’ve applied for funding,” the amount of which is expected to be known in mid-September, Brink said.
The orchestra is partnering with Crandall Public Library for a film series, with three or four free film showings in advance of various concerts, such as film about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart prior to the Nov. 5 “Autumn Colors” concert, featuring 15-year-old pianist Andre Li performing the Mozart Piano Concerto.
The orchestra will also lead story times at the library’s Children’s Department in advance of each concert, reading children’s books related with concert themes.
The season opens at 4 p.m. Sept. 24 at Glens Falls High School Auditorium with “Cest La Vie!” featuring music of Hector Belioz, Georges Bizet and Claude Debussey, all French music.
“It’s going to be kind of an epic concert,” Brink said.
The orchestra will hold a pre-concert reception at the Morgan & Company restaurant in downtown Glens Falls.
After-concert “symphony lounge” performances will be held at downtown Glens Falls restaurants in the evenings after the other concerts.
The symphony also is planning a series of visits by symphony musicians to area schools to perform and speak about music.
The number of school visits this season will be determined by grant funding.
The orchestra’s Education Committee has a long-range goal of performing an annual full concert for children from area elementary schools, but achieving that is probably about two or three years out, Brink said.
“That is something I’m very passionate about. … Every kid should be able to hear the Glens Falls Symphony live,” Brink said.
Two of the orchestra’s five concerts this season will be performed in Saratoga Springs — Nov. 5 at Maple Avenue Elementary School and March 18 at Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College.
The other three concerts on Sept. 24, Dec. 17 and May 6 will be at Glens Falls High School.
The orchestra partners with Skidmore College for a concert once every few years, Brink said.
The Nov. 5 concert was moved to Saratoga Springs because of a scheduling conflict.
It is expected the entire season will be back in Glens Falls next season, she said.
The symphony has “a little over” 400 season-ticket holders for the upcoming season, up a few from “a little under” 400 last season, Brink said.
Season tickets run from $100 to $140 for five concerts, with student season tickets $50.
The symphony has a $379,000 annual budget, with about 22 percent of revenue coming from ticket sales, Brink said.