Pennsylvania Philharmonic Presents Classical Music for the Entire Family in Pay-What-You-Want Concert

BETHLEHEM, PA (October 23, 2017) - In honor of the Bethlehem Area School District being chosen to enter the John F Kennedy Center “Arts for Every Given Child” program, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic will showcase its 2017 music educational program, “Soundsational Science,” to the general public through a pay-what-you-want concert open to all Bethlehem residents in November.

The Symphony’s 2017 educational program titled “Soundsational Science,” explores the origins of sound and how it is made across the four orchestral instrument families. Demonstrating how the physical size, length, and construction of each instrument influences the sound it makes, children will be introduced to concepts of timbre, frequency, and intensity.

The Philharmonic will open their 17/18 season with a residency in the Bethlehem Area School District. On November 3rd, the orchestra will perform two concerts at Northeast Middle School for all Bethlehem Area School District fourth grade students, and on November 5th, they will invite the general public to experience what their children have enjoyed year after year. This isn’t the first time the Pennsylvania Philharmonic has visited the Bethlehem Area School District, but it will be the first year they offer a public concert in addition to their regular school concerts.

“Bringing a full symphony orchestra into school districts across Pennsylvania, the concert series will introduce young people to classical music by making it as accessible as possible”, said Guy McIntosh, the orchestra’s Director of Marketing and Principal Trumpet.

“Our concerts link music to another subject students are already learning in school,” McIntosh Continued. “The idea is that if you present classical music along with ideas children can already grasp, then they will become excited about classical music, engage with the arts, and hopefully want to learn an instrument. It’s a unique way to introduce them to something they may not have had access to.”

Every educational program is created by the Philharmonic’s renowned music Director, Michael Butterman. “The idea is to connect music to other curricular subjects and make the concerts as fun as possible: as visually engaging, as participatory, and immersive as possible,” said Butterman.

Members of the orchestra will treat the audience to “solos” performed on homemade instruments, designed to show the fundamental properties that form each instrument’s unique sound. Throughout the concert, a projected oscilloscope and decibel meter will provide a visual component for the audience to see actual sound-waves created in real time.

The Philharmonic is encouraging students to make their own homemade instruments and bring them along to the concert. Instructions for homemade instruments and fun music-related science experiments are included in a study guide developed by Anne Nye, the orchestra’s Director of Education.

The guide is available for download from their website:

The family concert will take place Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2:00PM at Northeast Middle School: 1170 Fernwood Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018.

Tickets are available online, by calling 610-401-3650, or at the door before the concert. Suggested pay-what-you-want price is $15 for adults and $5 for students.

Proceeds raised will go towards the Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s school educational programs.
Please contact Guy McIntosh, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, if you would like to attend one of our educational or public concerts, we will be happy to present you with a Press Pass.

Educators interested in bringing the Pennsylvania Philharmonic to their own school districts, are also welcome to attend and observe the programs, please contact Anne Nye, Director of Education, for reservations.

About the Bethlehem Area School District


The Bethlehem Area School District, in partnership with the home and community, is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which each student will attain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become a productive citizen and lifelong learner in our technologically demanding and culturally diverse society.

About the Pennsylvania Philharmonic

The Symphony’s mission is twofold: introduce young minds to quality classical music and bring an enriching musical experience to communities around the state. The Philharmonic’s two-pronged approach is unique among professional orchestras.

School programs account for more than 60% of Philharmonic’s performances, reaching over 15,000 students every year. While educational in nature, their concerts are designed to entertain and engage students in the world of art music. By providing children with an introduction to a high quality symphony orchestra, they hope to spark an interest in music, encourage students to learn an instrument, and inspire them to be participants in the arts throughout their lifetimes.  

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s public concerts are designed to bring music to the people. They do not believe audiences should have to commute long distances to experience a professional symphony orchestra. Traveling from New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and everywhere in between, their musicians come together to bring innovative and exceptional programs directly to communities that desire it most.

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic believes music education and the arts are fundamentally important and beneficial to the lives of all people. The orchestra invites you to join in their mission to make classical music something everyone can feel is theirs.

Photos available upon request.

About Michael Butterman

Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Michael Butterman is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement. In addition to his artistic leadership of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, he serves as Music Director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he will appear at the Kennedy Center’s inaugural SHIFT Festival in 2017. He is also the Music Director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and is in his 17th season as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the first position of its kind in the United States.  He also just completed a 15-year tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony, first as Associate, and then as Resident Conductor.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Houston Symphony. In the 16-17 season, he will return to conduct the National Symphony for three weeks of concerts at the Kennedy Center, as well as to conduct Canada’s Victoria Symphony in the fall. Other recent appearances include performances with the Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, California Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera and Victoria Symphony (British Columbia).  Summer appearances include Tanglewood, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia.

Mr. Butterman gained international attention as a diploma laureate in the Prokofiev International Conducting Competition and as a finalist in the prestigious Besançon International Conducting Competition. As the recipient of the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship, he studied at Tanglewood with Robert Spano, Jorma Panula, and Maestro Ozawa, and shared the podium with Ozawa to lead the season’s opening concert. Earlier, Mr. Butterman was sponsored by UNESCO to lead the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova in a concert of music by great American masters.

For six seasons, Mr. Butterman served as Music Director of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM. During much of that time, he was also Director of Orchestral Studies at the LSU School of Music and was Principal Conductor of the LSU Opera Theater. Previously, he held the post of Associate Conductor of the Columbus Pro Musica Orchestra, and served as Music Director of the Chamber Opera, Studio Opera, and Opera Workshop at the Indiana University School of Music.  For two seasons, he was also the Associate Music Director of the Ohio Light Opera, conducting over 35 performances each summer.

At Indiana University, Mr. Butterman conducted a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s little-known 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a series of performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, receiving unanimous praise from such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Variety, and USA Today. He was subsequently invited to New York at the request of the Bernstein estate to prepare a performance of a revised version of the work.
Michael Butterman’s work has been featured in six nationwide broadcasts on public radio's Performance Today, and can be heard on two CDs recorded for the Newport Classics label and on a new disc in which he conducts the Rochester Philharmonic and collaborates with actor John Lithgow.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s Music Director, visit:

Photos available upon request.