Our Explore Music! programs reach tens of thousands of children, youth, adults and seniors throughout a single year. By eliminating price and taking the programs to their participants/audience, the Symphony reaches beyond the stage at the Alberta Bair Theater and into the communities in the greater Billings area.
Annual Family Concerts
Music Director Anne Harrigan and the Billings Symphony develop this program each season, which features a guest artist. In addition to several free performances at the Alberta Bair Theater (ABT) for invited area schools, a public performance is held at the ABT with family-friendly ticket prices.
FREE Symphony in the Park
Symphony in the Park is the most elaborate musical showcase staged by the BSO&C. Thousands of people pack beautiful Pioneer Park for this outdoor concert. Along with light classical and pops-style music, the event offers picnic fare and an instrument petting zoo.
Adventures in Music (AiM)
The Billings Symphony works with area schools and cultural organizations to offer a half-day, hands-on music education workshop for students in grades K-8. More than 1,000 students have the opportunity to learn about the orchestra and chorale through a series of round-robin demonstrations with musicians, an instrument petting zoo, and a Billings Symphony dress rehearsal.
Each season concert is preceded at 6:45 p.m. by a brief, interactive discussion related to the evening’s music, composers and guest artists.
Conductor in Schools
Music Director Anne Harrigan guest conducts rehearsals of area bands and orchestras. Approximately 1,000 students, grades 5-12, learn from her expertise and knowledge, helping them prepare for concerts.
Conductor in the Community
Music Director Anne Harrigan guest conducts rehearsals of an area bands and orchestras as well as visits with area organizations and civic groups. Approximately 1,500 students, grades 5-12, and area adults learn about the commitment, dedication and determination required to become a professional musician.
Internships with the orchestra or BSO&C office provide opportunities to gain experience in the field, determine if one has an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, and/or gain school credit.
Special guest artists performing with the Billings Symphony share their talents and experiences with BSO&C musicians and students from around the region through these free classes. These classes are also open to the public.
Musicians in the Schools
Nearly 3,500 youth, grades K-12, as well as students attending MSU-Billings and Rocky Mountain College, learn about instruments from small ensembles of BSO&C musicians. Musicians are encouraged to share their personal stories about why and how they became musicians, to discuss how music can be a lifelong avocation or vocation, and to show the flexibility of their instrument through the performance of a variety of genres of music.
Musicians in the Community
This outreach program is not designed to be a music lesson. Rather, musicians are encouraged to use music as a way to begin a dialogue or offer healing interactions. Sites such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County, the Montana State Women’s Prison, area hospitals, and mental health centers particpate in this program.
Random Acts of Music
Small ensembles of BSO&C musicians are scheduled to perform in unusual and unexpected high-traffic locations such as at the airport, Rimrock Mall, or MetraPark in an effort to increase community awareness of symphonic music and the BSO&C as people go about their daily routines.
Arranged through partnerships with local arts agencies, casual performances by small ensembles of BSO&C musicians are given in community spaces to more than 500 residents of rural communities.
Members of the BSO&C visit retirement homes, assisted-living facilities, and low-income meal sites to perform for elders in an environment that is comfortable and accessible to them. This program reaches seniors, who due to physical constraints, lack of transportation or price barriers otherwise would not be able to experience the joy of live symphonic music.
A tremendously rewarding experience for Symphony musicians, students, and the audience, our Side-by-Side program is designed to help students develop a lifelong interest in music and dance. Students have the unique opportunity to share the stage with our professional orchestra and choral musicians as well as get a chance to work with the professional dance troupe from the Nutcracker. Students experience rehearsing and performing alongside professionals.
Rush Ticketing & Group Ticketing
In an effort to eliminate price as a barrier, rush tickets may be purchased for a discount between 6:00-6:30 pm on the evening of a season concert, based on availability (cash only). Groups of 10 or more may inquire about discounted group ticketing.