On June 3, around 80 first- through sixth-graders will celebrate five years of Kalamazoo Kids In Tune by taking the stage in Chenery Auditorium to perform themes from masterworks by Mozart to Mussorgsky. Conductor Eric Barth and Liz Youker, Kalamazoo Symphony vice president of education and community partnerships, talk about the program's progress after five years.
A collaboration of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo Public Schools, Kalamazoo Kids In Tune offers children two-and-a-half hours of after-school enrichment, including group lessons, "Mindfulness" classes, homework help and a meal. Upon reaching middle school, many participants have expressed a desire to continue with KKIT. One of the program's new initiatives is to include middle school students as mentors.