Summerville Orchestra to launch youth orchestra and education program with $20,000 grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission

August 22, 2022

The Summerville Orchestra (S.O.) has received a two-year $20,000 award from the South Carolina Arts Commission to launch a youth orchestra and education program in September in collaboration with tricounty schools.

The three-part initiative includes a youth orchestra for intermediate students, elementary and middle school outreach and a mentorship program for middle and high school students. This is an initiative designed to give students in the tricounty area substantive enhanced opportunities to experience the arts.

“We are incredibly excited about the launch of this program, which has long been a goal of the orchestra,” said S.O. Board Chair Dean Glace, a founder of the orchestra and its principal trumpetist. “We are very grateful to the South Carolina Arts Commission for their generous support of this venture. We believe that nurturing a love of arts from a young age is the cornerstone of a lifelong love of arts and of community support for the arts. And we are particularly thrilled to be able to help support area strings education programs and to elevate students’ excitement about string instruments and the orchestral art form.”

The Summerville Youth Orchestra will offer next-level performance opportunities free for students in Dorchester School Districts 2 and 4, Berkeley County School District and select Charleston County schools, and will hold concerts in February and May with a third concert to be determined. Concerts will be held at the Summers Corner Performing Arts Center.

In November, the youth orchestra will perform in a side-by-side event with the full Summerville Orchestra as part of the S.O.’s Subscription Series concerts.

Tricounty students in public and private schools as well as homeschooled students are all eligible to participate in the youth orchestra. The S.O. and youth orchestra staff will work with area school music instructors to identify and audition students for participation.

At the elementary school level, youth orchestra staff, together with S.O. musicians, will give in-school “guest star” presentations about the instruments of the orchestra and will perform for students. They also will be available to assist elementary school teachers to develop lesson plans centered on the orchestral experience.

The S.O. will also provide mentorship for middle and high school students interested in pursuing music as a course of study or professional engagement. Select high school students will be invited to perform with the full Summerville Orchestra.

Finally, as part of this initiative, the S.O. will offer a summer music camp that aligns with its vision of keeping access to music accessible for all.

The S.O. will hire a Youth Orchestra Conductor/Education Coordinator to lead the initiative. Deadline for applications was Aug. 7.


The Summerville Orchestra seeks to share its love of music by engaging and enriching the community through the orchestral art form. The 75-member orchestra performs an annual subscription series of five concerts at the Summers Corner Performing Arts Center, along with many free concerts and events throughout the greater Summerville area.

For more information about the S.O., contact [email protected] or call (843) 873-5339.