Each year, every Lexington third grader and thousands of children from greater Boston hear a real live orchestra, learn the history of classical music and are often inspired to play an instrument—a lifelong impact! Kids listen, laugh, cheer, and “conduct” from their seats—Engaged, entertained and educated by Lexington Symphony’s Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ (OKTC). 

Since 2009, Lexington Symphony has performed for over 20,000 students across the state, including providing scholarships to underserved communities such as Somerville, Lawrence and Dorchester. Most participants have never seen a live orchestra before. Corporate and individual support makes it possible for Lexington Symphony to perform OKTC, the original award winning education program created to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra and the history of classical music.

Hear what Angela Carpenter, the music teacher at Harrington Elementary School has to say about OKTC.

The program includes an up-close classroom visit by a team of Lexington Symphony musicians. This is followed, a few weeks later, by a trip through time with the whole orchestra, from chanting monks to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky… all the way to John Williams’ thrilling Star Wars theme, with a special guest from the dark side!

Lexington Symphony has presented OKTC to packed halls in Lexington, Burlington and Framingham.

OKTC has had a huge impact here in Lexington on enrollment in the LPS instrumental music program and is now a regular part of Lexington’s elementary school arts education!

OKTC 2020 Dates: 

  • Thursday January 23rd 9:30am SOLD OUT

  • Thursday January 23rd 11:30am

  • Friday January 24th 9:30am

  • Friday January 24th 11:30am

All concerts take place at Cary Hall in Lexington.

Thank you 2019-2020 Sponsors!

Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ is generously sponsored in part by the following:

To learn about becoming a OKTC sponsor, please contact the Symphony office 781-523-9009 or email Jeffrey Levenson at jlevenson@lexingtonsymphony.org

The Lexington Symphony is the best orchestra I have ever heard. When they played the Star Wars theme it sounded like the movie! Right before the song Darth Vader walked out! One of the other surprises was a sixth grader coming out to play Mozart while wearing a wig that looks like Mozart’s hair. Some of the composers they taught us about were Haydn, Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, just to name a few. One of the things I liked most was how they taught us about the evolution of musical instruments. That’s why I like the Lexington Symphony Orchestra.
— Maya Mudgal, Mrs. Weeks' third-grade class, Bowman School


Lexington Symphony’s celebrated educational program, Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™, is not a classical “eat your broccoli” concert for kids. It’s an original program with a fresh approach to listening and learning, and kids love it! It starts with a visit by four of our musicians to your school, where your students learn about the instrument families of the orchestra. Next, you and your students come to Cary Hall to hear the whole orchestra led by conductor Jonathan McPhee, winner of the Gabriel Award for his work with kids. The one-hour dramatic concert takes the audience on a tour of the orchestra from its very beginnings 500 years ago through present-day Star Wars, with many creative flourishes along the way.

The excitement of live performance is at the core of Orchestrating Kids. Designed specifically for third- and fourth-graders, but open to all ages, the program’s goal is to demystify and personalize the classical concert experience while introducing the diverse sounds of an orchestra in an engaging way. By showing how orchestral sound has radically changed over time, the program encourages active listening, the development of a critical approach to new information and ideas, and participation and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles.

Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ 2019-20 Season

Educators: Sign up now to reserve a spot for this season’s Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ program! Early sign-up is encouraged. Classroom visits will take place in January 2020.

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Please contact us for information about ticket prices and availability. Schools are responsible for bus fees. If you require an access accommodation, please call two weeks prior to the concert date and we will assist you with your request.

Sitting there, I can tell you the kids were totally engaged. The program was so well orchestrated to grab them at the beginning and take them on a journey through time. I hope this can continue in the future as it is a phenomenal program for all involved. I loved it myself!
— Parent

Click here to see video of the event.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Click here to learn more about how this event came about.