On Stage: Pioneer Orchestra Program presents “Tagore on Soul and Strings”


The Pioneer Orchestra Program continues to strive to create international opportunities for students. And later this month, several musicians and composers will travel from India to join them in a special performance of “Tagore on Soul and Strings,” which will be open to the public.

Following previous successes in concerts and events that include a 2016 performance with the Toyota Junior Orchestra and a participation in a 2017 symposium in Sweden, the Pioneer High School Orchestra and Choir will present this unique concert April 17 when, through a partnership with non-profit organization Tagore Beyond Boundaries, the young AAPS musicians will have the opportunity to showcase the music and poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, a 19th and early 20th century British Indian artist.

Director of Orchestras Jonathan Glawe (left) takes pride in the work his students have put in to bring the project to life.

“The students of the orchestra have embraced their role as being the first ensemble to ever explore these selections on Western instruments,” Glawe said. “After each new draft we read, the music gets more polished and refined. The students are learning how to orchestrate a musical selection, while at the same time learning technical mastery of a new musical style.

I am so incredibly proud of them.”

Jeff Gaynor, the AAPS Board of Education Secretary, also expressed his admiration.

“Jonathan Glawe and the Pioneer High School Orchestra continue their engagement in world music and culture with this upcoming Tagore Beyond Boundaries concert,” Gaynor says. “How appropriate, as the multiple endeavors of Rabindranath Tagore, a remarkable Bengali polymath, exemplifies the high goals and ideals the Ann Arbor Public Schools students to strive for.”

He feels strongly that, on a practical level, bringing classical Indian musicians to Ann Arbor to work with Pioneer’s orchestra students will help all of them enlarge their vision of music while simultaneously providing an experience that will bring the world closer together for all who attend the performance.

                                      Jeff Gaynor

“The Pioneer Orchestra has an outstanding reputation, but one that is maintained only by the continual dedication and effort by each class of students that works tirelessly to expand their skills and understanding through such collaborations with composers and musicians from around the world.”

WHAT: Tagore on Soul and Strings

WHERE: Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor 48105

WHEN: Tuesday, April 17

TIME: 7 – 9 p.m.

COST: $10 general admission

OTHER: Free reception following the performance

TICKETS: Available at https://mkt.com/pioneerpops and at the door at 6:30 p.m.


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