American Composers Orchestra - Innovating Right Before Your Ears

home | concerts |donate now
join our email list


Education home page


Rhythm Factory
Songwriter's Factory
Film Music Factory
Composer Residencies
Immigrant Sounds and Voices

Compose Yourself

Ensemble Performances
Open Rehearsals
Academic Ticket Program
Instrumental Instruction

Partner Schools

From the Director

FAQs for schools

For information contact:

Kevin James
Director of Education
212-977-8495, x252












Coming to America
Immigrant Heritage Programs

Explore the continuing evolution of American music through the music of immigrant composers.

For students in 4th Grade through High School
WITH or WITHOUT musical experience.
Any number of sessions.

Taking advantage of the incredible diversity of world-class composers based in New York City, a composer who has immigrated to this country is paired with one of our ensembles for these events. The composer makes an initial visit to share their experiences as artist and immigrant with students and to introduce how concepts of background and identity effect their work and their performance.

Whenever possible the composer then will rehearse with a student ensemble on one of their own works which is representative of their experience and their heritage.

These sessions may be followed up by a guest ensemble performance featuring works of the composer. Again, when possible, a student ensemble and guest ensemble will collaborate on a work by the composer. Immigrant Heritage Week programs of the ACO usually involve 2-4 sessions with the students, but are not limited to that number.

This program also usually culminates the third week of April to coincide with the city-wide Immigrant Heritage Week celebration, but this is not essential.

The Music Factory programs of the ACO are designed to promote student achievement, inspire creativity and develop baseline transferable skills through close engagement with some of the worlds finest composers and musicians.

Taking unique advantage of one of the city’s most underutilized resources - New York is home to more accomplished composers than any other place in the world - ACO Music Factory programs are hands-on minds-on, performance based activities aimed at students from the 4th-12th grades and are appropriate for in-school or after-school settings.

All provide high-impact learning opportunities for music students of any level, and many are appropriate for schools and students without musical experience. For most ACO Music Factory programs the length and number of artist visits is adaptable to the needs of the school, from a single event to a full semester or year.

For 35 years the ACO has been the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation and promotion of music by American composers. Since it’s founding the orchestra has commissioned and premiered more new works by American composers than any other orchestra. ACO serves as an incubator of ideas, research and talent, as a catalyst for growth and change among orchestras, and as an advocate for American composers and their music.

top | home | concerts | join our email list | donate now