Whitney Hale

By

College: Fine Arts

UK's Schmidt Opera Outreach Program Honored

Published: Feb 5, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2013) — On Feb.8, 2013, the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) will present the 2013 Friend of Music Award to the Schmidt Opera Outreach Program (SOOP) during its annual Professional Development Conference Awards Ceremony in Louisville, Ky. This award honors achievement by an individual, organization, or corporation other than one engaged professionally in music education.

 

In 2003, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society, under the direction of Professor Everett McCorvey, established an opera outreach and education program at the School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. Since 2007, under the new sponsorship of the William E. Schmidt Foundation, the arts have now become accessible to the children of Kentucky through SOOP.

 

Using fairy tales, children's stories and American history, accompanied by the operatic music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Antonio Rossini, Jacques Offenbach and others, SOOP has introduced more than 120,000 Kentucky students in more than 270 schools and 68 counties to the fundamental components, basic terminology, and the glorious melodies of opera. The intent is, through this program, to build tomorrow’s audiences and performers. Each school is provided with a thorough study guide that helps teachers prepare the students before the show's arrival and provides activities for students to do before and after the show.

 

SOOP casts are typically made up of four professional singers and an accompanist. The shows have a set, props, and costumes designed by the UK creative team. The stories typically have a moral or character skill that is incorporated in the message.

 

After each show the cast hosts a “Question and Answer Session,” during which the children have a chance to see how props work, how costumes get changed, and how singers perfect their craft.

 

KMEA strives to advance the cause of music education throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky by encouraging the study and making of music, and by serving as a strong advocate for issues affecting the accomplishment of that mission. KMEA sponsors assessment events for bands, choirs, orchestras, instrumental jazz ensembles, solos, ensembles, and also oversees competitive events and a state championship opportunity for marching bands.

 

For more information to book or sponsor a SOOP show, contact Courtney Turay at uksoop@gmail.com or (859) 402-6946, or visit the program's website at www.ukoperatheatre.org and click on "Opera Outreach."

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

 

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