Mistral fulfills its mission in part through its community outreach programs.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council praised our efforts to serve the community in the following letter, dated May 31, 2002:
“Congratulations on developing a program that stands out among so many across the state. John F. Kennedy once said, ‘I see little of more importance to the future of our country than full recognition of the place of the artist (scientist and humanist).’ Your project makes a contribution to the social fabric of community life in the state. Thank you for your efforts.”Daniel Kertzner, Program Coordinator, Communities Department.
Free Workshops in Elementary Schools from Lawrence to Dorchester
Some Massachusetts schools offer instrument instruction beginning in third grade and Mistral believes it to be the perfect age to introduce children to classical music and, specifically, chamber music. We believe that music feeds the soul and inspires creative thinking and innovation. It is our desire to expose children to this type of music and possibly plant the seed for a lifelong love of music.
Julie Scolnik, Founder and Artistic Director of Mistral, has led performances and workshops in Massachusetts public schools for over 15 years. These workshops offer an interactive in-school musical program for approximately students ages 8 to 13, exposing them to chamber music, a variety of musical instruments and forms of expression, and the basic concepts of melody, harmony, and rhythm. The ensemble engages students in a lively experiential introduction to their instruments and to chamber music; perform one or two short chamber works; talk about the music and how the instruments each contribute different sonorities to the work/s; and lead a “question-and-answer” session. The students respond with excitement for live, interactive musical performance, building their knowledge and appreciation of chamber music.
Public schools strive to meet educational standards, but with limited resources for arts education, community partners such as Mistral are needed to provide expertise to meet art education standards. Through the Mistral workshops, students develop new skills in critical response to music. Students: 1) perceive, describe, and respond to basic elements of music, including beat, tempo, rhythm, meter, pitch, melody, texture, dynamics, harmony, and form; 2) learn appropriate vocabulary to describe music, music instruments, and music performances; 3) identify the sounds of a variety of instruments typically performed in chamber music; 4) respond through purposeful movement to selected prominent music characteristics and specific music occurrences while listening to music; and 5) demonstrate audience skills of listening attentively and responding appropriately in a performance setting.
Free and Reduced-price Ticket Programs for Youth and Seniors
These ticket programs ensure that Mistral’s music is accessible to people of all ages and income levels.
Last season, 800 audience members (40% of our audience) took advantage of our free/reduced-price ticket programs, which include reduced and free senior/student discounts as well as group rates offered through senior centers and complimentary tickets to six area senior centers.
Seniors: Approximately half of our audience members are senior citizens. Without Mistral, many of our patrons expressed that they would not be able to enjoy world-class, live music performances because of the expense and physical difficulty of the main alternative – traveling into Boston. While Mistral keeps ticket prices low, some seniors – particularly those living on limited fixed incomes – find it difficult to afford Mistral’s standard ticket price of $30. Therefore, Mistral offers $25 senior tickets and further reduced-price and complimentary tickets through partnerships with multiple senior centers.
Youth: Mistral offers tickets free of charge, at the door, to any child/student. Through this initiative we hope to make it easier for parents of school-age children to attend our concerts and to help cultivate the next generation of chamber music patrons.
“My name is Daria. I am 10 years old. Yesterday I came to the concert The Unbearable Lightness of Being with my friend Anastasia. Her mom introduced us to you. I absolutely loved the concert, especially the wind instruments. Also, your dress was beautiful. I came to this concert for my birthday, which was on October 5. I would love to come back soon.”