Strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion – the four main sections of an orchestra that Cal State San Bernardino music students demonstrate in a series of educational videos on the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra (SBSO) website.

Thanks to a close partnership with the SBSO, under the artistic direction of Maestro Anthony Parnther and the executive leadership of Anne Viricel, CSUSB students had the opportunity to discuss and perform their instruments on camera, which are used as part of the SBSO’s Music in the Schools program.

“The video project taught me and my group members how to formulate a concise and effective educational video,” said Nick Torres, music history major and guitar player, whose video is currently being finalized. “This was great practice for creating curriculum across multiple grade and age levels.”

The CSUSB music department partnered with the SBSO and the Symphony Guild in spring 2021 to create the collection of educational videos for elementary students in the San Bernardino County Unified School District, with the purpose of introducing children to both the instruments of the orchestra and the history of the orchestra in the Western tradition. The videos are also used by the public and by San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra docents in educational presentations at schools and libraries.

The partnership originally began in September 2020 when Lucy Lewis, CSUSB orchestral program director, associate professor and SBSO board member, was approached by Judy Podskalan, SBSO vice president for Education and Music in the Schools Chair, about a possible collaboration. The SBSO wanted to create a series of educational videos that would take the place of the Symphony Guild Docent Program, which takes instruments into third-grade classrooms in San Bernardino County, but was not possible to do in 2020-21 due to COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, the collaboration was formed between the SBSO and the CSUSB music department to create an alternative.

Lewis and Jessica Getman, CSUSB assistant professor of music and SBSO board member, worked with CSUSB music students to create the demonstration videos needed. Cash Tijerina, CSUSB music department instructional technician, was hired as videographer and editor, and Sara Bobbitt, CSUSB music department public relations and marketing specialist, was hired to create the videos’ finishing graphics.

CSUSB students crafted scripts for their videos starting in February 2021 and spent the following months recording (and in some cases editing) the videos.

CSUSB has maintained a strong relationship with the SBSO over the years and continues to build its partnership. Earlier this year, Nicholas Bratcher, assistant professor of music and director of bands at CSUSB, was named director of the San Bernardino Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble, a new music education initiative from the SBSO. And Lesley Leighton, CSUSB assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, was named principal guest conductor.

To watch the CSUSB student educational videos and to learn more about the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, visit the SBSO website.

For more information about the CSUSB Department of Music, visit the music department’s website.