September 22, 2020

Philharmonic presenter helps educate youth

By Grace Gottschling
Staff Writer

Wiprud’s music education program has been adapted worldwide. (Emily Lo / Staff Photographer)

Theodore Wiprud, a performer, educator, concert presenter and the vice president of education at the New York Philharmonic, was featured in the third Brown Bag series event of the semester in Mayo Concert Hall on Friday, Sept. 28.

Wiprud’s presentation, “The Many Worlds of Teaching Artistry,” displayed his work with the broad range of educational programs offered by the Philharmonic in New York City schools. Wiprud believes that community outreach is necessary to create an environment of equity and opportunity in music.

“The place that you might find for yourself in music, or whatever field in communication you’re going into, could be something that you don’t know about now. It could be something that doesn’t even exist now,” Wiprud said of the emerging field of teaching artistry.

Wiprud also mentioned the lack of consistent in-school music education available in the country.

“A lot of the most significant learning experiences, when it comes to music and the arts, happen outside of school,” he said.

The Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concert series that Wiprud organizes features children ages 6 to 12 from a variety of backgrounds. Over 100 children who have participated in the education program get selected each year to have their compositions performed by the New York Philharmonic in a celebrated assembly.

“The audience at these events is mostly made up of other kids who then realize that they too can create music,” Wiprud said. “When any audience member sees someone like them on stage, they connect.”

According to Wiprud, the program has been adapted by different countries around the world.

“We send our own people out to show them how to do it,” he said, “but the cool thing is that it’s different in every country because each one has a unique musical culture.”

Wiprud continued to explain that people’s current interpretation of audience and performance is incredibly narrow and could be broadened to include several different modes of communicating through music outside of a traditional dark theater with silent audience.

A Boston University graduate, Wiprud is a former teaching artist and an active composer. Prior to his work at the New York Philharmonic, Wiprud created similar education programs with the Brooklyn Philharmonic as well as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the American Composers Orchestra.

Wiprud has been running the New York Philharmonic’s in-school and adult programs, as well as the educational concerts and online resources since 2004.

Wiprud’s success is one of the many intended to inspire students who are considering careers in arts and communications.

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