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Last year's Young People's Concert. 

ASHLAND -- Julie White, ELA third grade teacher at Ashland City Schools, teaches her students early on not to limit themselves, and that they can do anything.

While math, science, English and history are important subjects to tackle in school, for White, the arts and music are subjects that open up students’ minds beyond a textbook.

“We always want them to have goals for themselves and want them to see what is out there in the world for them to get involved in and maybe have a passion for,” White said.

The Ashland Symphony Orchestra agrees and wants to continue to make music a big part of the Ashland community, starting early with a line-up of events for community members of all ages to gather and experience all that music has to offer.

Martha Buckner, executive director of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, looks forward to the spring season, especially the opportunities to connect children with music. 

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Oliver Vaughn tries snare drum at Young People's Concert

With music being closely related to the arts and sciences, it’s just as important for children to learn at an early age, according to Buckner.

The spring line-up kicks off on March 6 with the School Day Concert. This is a special event for 3rd Graders and will take place at noon for students from Ashland City Schools highlighting the different types of rhythm in music. 

“When students get older, a lot of times (music) is where they make their friends, so it’s important to have a social group where you have things in common with those people,” Buckner said. 

It will also help the students learn more about the instruments so that they can prepare for intermediate school where they will be able to choose an instrument for orchestra class. 

“A lot of them (kids) think about playing an instrument, but don’t really get to see all of the instruments all together,” White said. “Just the formality of that, I think, is really a cool event for them to go to.” 

White will be taking her students to the event to familiarize them with music, learn proper etiquette and open up their world. 

“It’s just a way to have them go to a formal orchestra performance, sit in seats and be quiet and listen,” White said. 

There are still spots available for third grade teachers to attend with their students. Contact 

Buckner at symphony@ashland.edu for more details.

On the very next day, the Ashland Symphony Orchestra will also host the Young People’s Concert. This is a free, family event held at the Hugo Young Theatre on March 7. The concert will begin at 4 p.m. In addition to the free concert there will be pre-concert activities including an instrument petting zoo for the kids starting at 3 p.m. 

The conductor for both concerts will be Maestro Raphael Jiménez.

Along with concerts, The Ashland Symphony Orchestra also has a line-up of special events this spring.

March 28 will mark the 3rd annual Beethoven’s 5th-5k race. Held at the Ashland County Fairgrounds, runners (or walkers) take on the 5k course while Beethoven’s 5th symphony plays over the sound system. Participants are challenged to try to finish the race before the music stops! 

Connie Gorrell, board member of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, said the 5K is one of the many fun ways to raise money for the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. 

“We started it as a way to engage people with the symphony who aren't our usual concert goers and/or donors,” Gorrell explained. 

Last year the event had 50 runners register and a 100% turnout. The planning committee hopes to see that number continue to grow.

The cost to participate is only $25 per participant. To enter Beethoven’s 5th-5K, you must register online here.

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Beethoven's 5th-5k race located on Ashland County Fairgrounds. 

The fun continues in April with the Spring Luncheon and Swishing event. Hosted by the Friends of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, the Spring Luncheon is intended to be a social gathering full of great food, conversations and updates on what’s coming up with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. 

This year’s luncheon will also include a swishing event. Attendees are encouraged to bring fashion and/or home accessories. For every item you bring you have the opportunity to select an item that someone else brought. Any remaining items will be used later in the year for the Christmas Market Treasures from the Attic (a resale shop fundraiser).

The main goal of the event is to bring the supporters of the Ashland Symphony together to socialize and enjoy a nice lunch, according to Buckner.  

“We will talk a little bit about the symphony and update them on things that are happening, but other than that it’s more of a social event,” Buckner said.

The Spring Luncheon is on April 4 at Bella Bleu’s at the Water’s Edge Event Center. Tickets are $30 per person and include lunch.

To purchase tickets, visit the Ashland Symphony website or call 419-289-5115.

Whether you are looking to introduce your kids to the symphony, to challenge yourself in a spring race or you’re just looking for a nice evening out, the Ashland Symphony Orchestra has something for you. For a full list of upcoming concerts and events visit, http://www.ashlandsymphony.org/.

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Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.