SU Orchestra Tour Brings Concert Drama to Middle School Students

The Susquehanna University Orchestra

Associate Professor of Music Jennifer Sacher Wiley has been changing the face of SU’s music program ever since her arrival in 1997. Her many accomplishments include the extensive work she’s done with the Susquehanna University Orchestra, which has grown in size and talent over the years.

Wiley created an orchestra tour for students, which occurs biannually. The SU Orchestra visits urban school districts to present music programs that Wiley authors, directs and produces. Each of the productions has a specific educational message for the middle school and high school students. The 2011 tour, which featured the concert drama Outside the Music Box, performed for schools in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ridgewood, N.J. The show, which includes original work by Associate Professor of Music Patrick Long, teaches middle school students the connection between art and music. During the tour, the SU students and faculty got to attend a performance of the New York Philharmonic.

The opportunities Wiley provides her orchestra students are enormous. “My favorite part of the SU Orchestra tour is that we get to travel to many different areas and observe the various cultures and environments,” says Erin Grasty ’11, a music major who has played violin for two of the orchestra tours. “It has been great to work with Dr. Wiley. She is a wonderful teacher and person, with a solution for just about anything!”

Matthew Webb ’14, a theatre performance major, played one of the acting roles in the recent orchestra tour. “Outside the Music Box was important because it was an opportunity for the community to connect with Susquehanna University,” he says. “Dr. Wiley was a thrill to work with. She has more enthusiasm than a kid in a candy store.”

Contributing writers to the People & Places section are Charlotte Lotz ‘12, Megan McDermott ‘14, Betsy K. Robertson and Karen M. Jones, assistant director of media relations.

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