Calling all students: Grand Rapids Symphony offers $5 student-tickets for this year’s lineup

Courtesy / Grand Rapids Symphony

Courtesy / Grand Rapids Symphony

Jenny Adkins

To kick off the Grand Rapids Symphony 2018-19 orchestra season this year, the symphony opens with classical blockbusters and world-class soloists as well as Broadway’s biggest hits, cinematic special events and salutes to legends such as Paul McCartney and Frank Sinatra. 

Established in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony showcases a nine-concert series through a diverse range of music and performance styles resulting in approximately 400 performances per year, attracting Grand Rapids residents, most of which are students. 

Jeff Kaczmarczyk, public relations manager for the GR Symphony, states that the lineup isn’t the best part of this year’s orchestra season, though. 

“One thing I would like to stress is that nearly all of our concerts offer students tickets for just $5,” Kaczmarczyk said. “That includes all of our 10-concert Classical Series and 6-concert Pops Series in DeVos Performance Hall and all of our Great Eras Series and Coffee Classics in St. Cecilia Music Center.” 

The Grand Rapids Symphony hosts a student ticket program that offers inexpensive tickets to provide students an enriched experience of orchestral performances. As long as students display a valid student ID or verification of student status for home-schooled students, they can take advantage of this opportunity. In addition, if family members are purchasing tickets in advance, they’re also able to benefit from the Student Ticket Pricing on behalf of the symphony. 

Student-priced tickets allow students to attend various performances throughout the year including the Fox Motor Pop Series, PwC Great Era Series, Porter Hills Coffee Classics Series and PNC Lollipop series, just to name a few.

The Grand Rapids Pop concerts will continue in November with songs created by Frank Sinatra. In January, the symphony will host special guest singer and trumpeter Byron Stripling as he returns for a program of ragtime, blues and jazz. 

One event in particular is the Porter Hills Coffee Classics Series, which is a performance showcased at 10 a.m. with complimentary coffee and donuts for guests served at 9 a.m. Kaczmarczyk discusses the importance of this series and why it resonates well with others, especially students. 

“The Coffee Classics concert is a program we’ve been doing for many years,” Kaczmarczyk said. “It began sometime in the mid-1990s, and it’s a program to serve the needs and interests of people who work afternoons or evenings and can’t normally attend evening concerts as well as those who are retired and/or who don’t like to drive at night. It’s a shorter program because it seems to suit the time of day and the audience, who may have a busy afternoon afterward.”

Moreover, a part from the orchestral performances, the Grand Rapids Symphony will also incorporate four full-length films with live music including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone and Pirates of the Caribbean—perfect for kicking off the upcoming Halloween and Christmas seasons. 

One final event to mention on this year’s schedule is a music program compiled of Leonard Bernstein’s work. 

“On Nov. 2 and 3, we’re doing a program of music entirely by Leonard Bernstein,” Kaczmarczyk said. “Almost certainly, he was the most important American musician of the post World War II era from the 1940s until his death in 1990. This past August was the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1918, so we’re celebrating his centennial. It’s one way of mixing things up a bit.” 

Tickets are available at the Grand Rapids Symphony ticket office, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office is located across the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids. Tickets may also be purchased via phone at (616) 454-9451.