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News Release

Date: August 12, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College, MCPS Partner to Offer Opportunity for High School Students to Play in College Symphony Orchestra
Auditions for Fall Semester to Take Place August 27

Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools recently partnered to create the Empowered to Excel program, which will allow MCPS high school students to play in the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra.  Empowered to Excel gives instrumental music students the opportunity to play alongside Montgomery College students, faculty, and professional musicians in the Orchestra.  Students will be able to earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours—a requirement for graduation—for work related to the program and earn college credit. 

Auditions for the fall 2005 semester will take place on Saturday, August 27, starting at 10 a.m., in the Music Recital Hall, Music Building, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville.  To sign up for an audition, please call 301-279-5209.
“This exciting mix of musical talent provides an unrivaled mentoring relationship for developing musicians,” explains Dr. Wen Kurkul, who is the executive director of Empowered to Excel and conductor of the College Symphony Orchestra.  “Participating students will also benefit from the program’s unique service leadership component.”

To be eligible for the program, MCPS high school students must be enrolled in their home school instrumental music program and audition each semester they wish to participate in Empowered to Excel.  Students are eligible to audition if they play the violin, viola, cello, or bass; the flute, oboe, clarinet, or bassoon; French horn, trumpet, trombone, or tuba; or the timpani, percussion, or harp.  Students are expected to attend the College Symphony Orchestra rehearsals every Monday night at 7 p.m., in the Music Rehearsal Hall, Room 124, located in the Music Building at the Rockville Campus.  They must also participate in formal public performances each semester. 

Accepted students can participate as non-registered or registered students.  Non-registered students will not pay tuition or earn college credits.  Registered students will apply for college admission and pay tuition for Music (MU) course 171.  Upon the successful completion of the one-semester course, they will receive one hour of college credit.

To develop leadership skills, Empowered to Excel students will attend required service leadership training seminars; be recognized as “Young Service Leaders with Vision” by serving as small-group leaders/coaches for high school peers or students at their feeder schools; and submit a minimum two-page reflection essay on their experience. 

To receive an application or learn more about the Empowered to Excel program, please contact the Montgomery College Music Department at 301-279-5209.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study. 

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