November 13, 2018

Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Amanda Nelson of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Interview with Amanda Nelson
Conducted by Karina Palomo

Karina: Why is it important to give children an opportunity to see a live symphony orchestra?
Amanda: Children are the next generation of symphonic music listeners and supporters. If we don’t take the time to teach them that music is important, it will become a lost art.


Karina: How has KSO impacted your life?
Amanda: I have been around the KSO almost my entire life. I remember coming to concerts as a young child when I was just learning to play cello. After I graduated from college and moved back to the area, it was so exciting to get to perform with the symphony! When I was hired as the general manager, I felt like I could really make a difference in the community being a part of this organization. We are not just a community orchestra, we are an orchestra for the community. We are here to enrich and educate the community through music. If you aren’t familiar with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, you are missing out!


Karina: Have any children who have attend a previous KSO Children’s Concerts reached out to you or any other members to share how the performance inspired them to play an instrument?
Amanda: Absolutely! Besides working as general manager for the symphony, I am also a music teacher. I have had quite a few students over my years teaching that have been inspired to be in orchestra because of coming to the KSO Children’s concert while in elementary school.


Karina: How have you seen KSO Children’s Concerts make in a difference within the community?
Amanda: Sometimes coming to the KSO Children’s Concert is the very first time ever a child is experiencing a live music performance. We are not just teaching them about the instruments, the music, or how to act in a concert setting. We are sharing an art with them which will hopefully start the beginnings of life long music lovers!


Karina: Why should parents bring their children to the concert?
Amanda: Unfortunately, this concert is only open to school groups. Teachers should make every effort to make this field trip happen because coming to a symphony orchestra concert is a very unique experience not every child has the opportunity to do! Our concerts are fun, engaging, educational, and inspirational! If your school isn’t attending this year, please look into coming next year! If parents would like to bring their children to another concert, I would highly recommend coming to our Winter Wonderland concert on December 7th or 8th! You won’t be disappointed!  


Karina: What do you hope the children in the audience will take away from the concert?
Amanda: It would be awesome if coming to the KSO Children’s Concert sparked a child’s interest to play a musical instrument, but really, I hope all children walk away from our concert with a little bit deeper love and appreciation for music in general! These kids are the next generation of symphonic music listeners and supporters.