Local Kids Get to Perform with Symphony Pros

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- While many metro musicians will work their entire careers to get the chance to perform before thousands inside the Kaufman Center for Performing Arts, an unlikely group got the dream chance this week.

"We sang and we played recorder with the symphony and played a lot of songs," said Audrey Lehmann, 9, a third grader at Prairie Branch Elementary in Grain Valley.

Classmate Tyler Hagan, 8, agreed.

"This was the best because we all got to work together and help each other and sing and it supported the school and stuff and we made a good example for our school," said Tyler.

More than 3,000 students from 50 schools across the metro played their recorders alongside the Kansas City Symphony as part of the Carnegie Hall Link Up program.

This is the first season the symphony participated in the program which pairs local orchestras with kids who love music.

"It really was a once in  lifetime opportunity," said Prairie Branch Elementary music teach Chrissy Mickelson.  "As a musician that's something you strive for and here are these kids who were able to do it before they were even ten years old."

Link Up, a program through the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute, partners with 29 orchestras from across the country to give third through fifth graders the chance to perform with world renowned musicians.

"This is an amazing program," said Kansas City Symphony education manager Stephanie Brimhall.  "Most of these kids, this is their first experience with a symphony orchestra and for the impact for them to actually perform with the orchestra on their first experience with an orchestra is a once in a lifetime experience."

The symphony said this year was such a hit, that it will double the number of performances next year which will allow more than 7,000 kids to participate.

The Kansas City Symphony offers dozens of children's programs throughout the year.  For more information, click here.

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