Educational programs continue to thrive at the Owensboro Symphony

OWENSBORO, KY –The Owensboro Symphony Youth and String Orchestras and the Strings Attached programs have continued to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs have been adapted to meet CDC guidance and the state of Kentucky restrictions.  “It took some preparation but we were able to divide the groups into smaller ensembles for rehearsals so that we could keep social distancing in place,” said Gwyn Payne, CEO of the Owensboro Symphony.

The Youth and String Orchestras are an essential part of the Owensboro Symphony’s education and community engagement effort. These ensembles give specialized training to more than 100 talented young musicians each year, some of whom go on to join leading American symphony orchestras. Members represent every local and many regional high school and middle school bands and orchestras. The Youth Orchestra is under the direction of Tom Stites and the String Orchestra is directed by Wade Wiggins. Both ensembles will perform their spring concert on Monday, May 10th at Blessed Mother Parrish Hall, 601 E. 23rd Street, Owensboro, Kentucky at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at  The Youth Orchestras will perform a collection of symphonic film music featuring several John Williams favorites from Bond Movie Themes to Star Wars and much more.

The Symphony has also continued another educational program at the Maximillian Montessori Academy with a Strings Attached Residency Program that is made possible through the generosity of the Michael E. Horn Family Foundation.  This program is led by Owensboro Symphony Academy Suzuki String instructor, Adrienne Vallandingham. Twice a week Vallandingham provides string instruction to fourth and fifth grade students at the Academy. The Symphony’s Strings Attached program provides equity and access in music education to students in county, city, private, and home school systems by placing a violin in the hands of the students with one-on-one instruction.  “Some schools in the region can be underserved when it comes to the arts due to budgetary issues or the lack of trained instructors,” said Vallandingham. “We are committed to all students, whether it is by visiting every school or through Zoom sessions, all students deserve every opportunity to grow and learn.” Following this month-long program the students at Maximillian Montessori Academy will hold a private concert for their fellow students, faculty and staff on Friday, May 14 at 11:30 a.m. and again for their parents on Sunday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m.

“The Owensboro Symphony is committed to our mission of education in our community and schools.” said Gwyn Payne, CEO of the Symphony. “Even with the challenges that COVID has brought, we will continue to find creative ways to reach students.”



Tickets for Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra and String Orchestra concert are $10 each and may be purchased from any Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra member, online at, or by calling 270-684-0661.

Photo opportunities are available. Call Faith Holley at 270-684-0661 ext 113 for more information.