Arizona Philharmonic Shares the Beauty of Improvisation with Local Students

Arizona Philharmonic’s youth outreach program always focuses on creative expression through music.

Last year, the program centered on composing for orchestra and reached roughly 300 students in third and sixth grades. This year, the emphasis will be on improvisation and its rich history within Classical Music.

At six schools in the Prescott Unified School District, Arizona Philharmonic musicians will present concerts with music related to Classical Music’s history of improvisation. At three of these schools (Taylor Hicks, Lincoln, and Granite Mountain),  nationally renowned and locally beloved pianist and improviser Jonathan Best and longtime music educator Maria Flurry, will visit nine third- and sixth-grade classrooms. In two sessions with each class, they will workshop with students on improvisation.

The culminating event is a joint onstage performance for the entire school (about 300 students), alongside Jonathan and an ensemble of five professional musicians from the Arizona Philharmonic. The students will join Jonathan and other Arizona Philharmonic musicians in presenting improvisation-oriented performances to the entire school. Jonathan and these five musicians will also perform concerts without student improvisation for the student bodies at three more schools. Nearly 4,000 students will experience this unique blend of Jonathan Best’s improvisation with Arizona Philharmonic musicians.

For information on the upcoming season, visit or call 855.321.6724 (ORCH).