In the fifth grade, students in Polk County’s Public Schools are given the opportunity to select an instrument to study. Together with Polk County Public Schools, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra performs four “School Day” concerts each year, allowing 9,000 fourth and fifth grade students to experience each instrument in the orchestra… live.

Arts education is a priority for both the ISO and PCPS. Studies show that students who were involved in music throughout high school had:

  • 34% higher graduation rate
  • 15% higher GPA
  • 8.5% higher scores on the SAT math and
  • 10.4% higher scores on SAT verbal

School Day concerts connect classroom education with real-life experiences, enriching teaching resources and adding excitement to the learning process.

You will help bring 4,500 students to the December School Day concert with you gift to the Next Generation Fund!
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The ISO is honored to be a partner in enriching the school’s existing fine arts curricula. During each performance, 2,300 students fill Youkey Theatre at The Lakeland Center. Many of these students, from all across Polk County, have not had an opportunity to experience a live performance.

With musicians in full concert dress and Maestro Thielen in his tuxedo, the symphony experience also provides a forum for conversation about adapting behavior to surroundings. Teachers are able to lead students in lessons that decipher how behaviors differ from a symphony setting to a classroom setting to the playground.

Each performance includes a special demonstration of each instrument family, with musicians showcasing how sounds are made – by blowing into an instrument or pulling a bow across a string. And, of course, students love to hear the percussion section play!

Support the ISO’s educational programs and initiatives with your tax-deductible contribution to the Next Generation Fund today!


The ISO is supported in its mission to “educate, entertain and inspire” by the Saddle Creek Logistics and the City of Lakeland.