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Up Close & Orchestral

Bringing the full WSO experience to Winnipeg High School Students

Up Close and Orchestral brings the full WSO, led by Assistant Conductor Monica Chen, right into students’ home turf with an engaging, interactive, up close program of exciting orchestral music the way it was meant to be experienced—live and in-person!

Student (and staff) participation is encouraged and integral, and the concerts regularly involve student volunteers as performers and conductors with the orchestra throughout the concert experience.

Concerts are about an hour long and designed to excite and inspire the audience about live orchestral music with works that showcase the orchestra through a variety of musical periods and styles. The WSO is also excited to feature a high school soloist performing with the orchestra for their peers.

The entire host high school student and staff population are invited to attend and participate in these interactive concerts, reaching as many as 1,500 or more high school students at each concert. If space allows, students from feeder middle schools & junior highs are often invited to the experience as well, further expanding reach and building connections.

Following the concert in their school, students are invited to come experience the WSO in their home at Centennial Concert Hall, for free!

Read more about this program in the Winnipeg Free Press.

Student guest performer Darren Ilao at Kildonan East Collegiate. Credit: Kildonan East Collegiate.

Student Soloist

The WSO’s Soloist Training Program provides a Manitoba high school student the opportunity to perform with the WSO during the Up Close and Orchestral program. A high-school-aged, top instrumental winner from the Winnipeg Music Festival will be invited to perform a solo work with the orchestra for their peers at these concerts. See below for Soloist history.

WSO 1st violinist Jun Shao is immersed in students as the orchestra performs at Kildonan East Collegiate. Credit: Kildonan East Collegiate.

More Ways to Experience the WSO

UnTuxed Matinees for Students
These casual matinee performances by your Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra provide student groups with a bite-sized symphony experience over the lunch hour! Students will learn about the music, the orchestra, and how the music was prepared, and then enjoy a taste of orchestral music with a full performance of one or more orchestral works. We even provide a complimentary lesson plan to help you and your students get to know the music. UnTuxed Matinees are a terrific field trip experience for middle and high school students. Click here to learn more.

Student Group Concert Tickets
You can bring a group to enjoy the full WSO concert experience. An affordable ticket package can be tailored to groups of any size. Contact Russell Kunz, Audience Development Coordinator & Group Sales, for more information (see below).

Encourage your students to join WSO’s Soundcheck program. It’s free and open to anyone aged 13 – 39 or who is a full-time student. Sign up online and get concert tickets for only $20**! Click here for more info.

2023 Student Soloist Sam Ferguson.

Student Soloist History

2023 – Sam Ferguson, trumpet
2019 – Selwyn Sarmiento, flute
2018 – Juliana Moroz, cello
2017 – Bradley Cairns-Digel, trumpet
2016 – David Liam Roberts, cello
2015 – Subin Cho, flute
2014 – Gregory Lewis, violin
2013 – Claire Ploughman, marimba
2012 – Hannah Humphries, violin
2011 – Jaena Kim, flute
2010 – Heather Stewart, violin
2009 – Justin Hickmott, tuba
2008 – Joshua Peters, violin
2007 – Ariel Carrabré, cello
2006 – Keith Dyrda, trombone


Ticket Inquiries:
Russell Kunz, Audience Development Coordinator & Group Sales
Phone: (204) 949-3977

Program Inquiries:
Brent Johnson, Associate Director, Education & Community
Phone: (204) 949-3967

*Including tax and fees.

**Subject to availability. Some limitations apply. Price does not include Concert Hall Sustaining Fee.