Education & Community Engagement


Summer String Institute

The Summer String Institute immerses talented and aspiring middle school and high school string musicians in an intensive week of mentoring, chamber music coaching, individual lessons, and rehearsals.

While Summer String Institute students work on ambitious repertoire to develop true professionalism, they also enjoy camaraderie and the adventure of creating great music. All Summer String Institute sessions are run in a day-camp arrangement, with an intensive week of orchestra rehearsals, chamber music rehearsals and coaching, private lessons, and movement classes, culminating with performances by the orchestra and chamber ensembles.

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2021 Jack Weaver Memorial Competition

For Violin, Viola & Cello

National Philharmonic is thrilled to host a competition for violin, viola, and cello students throughout the DC Metro Region in memory of Jack Weaver. String students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate by submitting videos of themselves performing three compositions of contrasting style representing at least two different periods of literature. One piece must be composed by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) or woman composer.

Submissions for the 2022 competition are now closed.

See the Winners!

This competition is funded by the Violin House of Weaver in Bethesda Maryland.

2021 Virtual Solo Bach Competition

Submissions Closed

National Philharmonic is hosting its second Virtual Solo Bach Competition for violin, viola, cello, and bass students throughout the DC Metro Region. Students ages 10-18 are invited to submit videos of themselves performing works from the solo repertoire written by J.S. Bach for their instrument or a standard transcription.

NatPhil principal string players will judge the first round of entires. Finalists will advance to a second round judged by special guest judges, including illustrious soloists Melissa White (violin) and Dana Kelley (viola), as well as cello and bass judges to be announced. Winners receive a $100 scholarship toward the 2022 Summer String Institute and will have their video featured on NatPhil’s social media.

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The Solo Bach Competition is supported by a generous grant provided by Jill and Jim Lipton.

Time Travel Goes Digital

Online Learning for Youth K-6 

Join National Philharmonic and Sound Impact as we present Time Travel Goes Digital, an interactive online travel adventure for youth K-6. The 10-episodes travel back in time to focus on and explore music’s roles throughout history. Each episode focuses on a unique theme revealing its connection to music with guest performers, composers and dancers. 

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Lesson Bank

Virtual School Program · Middle School

National Philharmonic’s Lesson Bank brings music instruction into the homes of young musicians in a practical and powerful way. Music students are matched with a National Philharmonic musician, and receive six half-hour lessons over the course of six weeks through Zoom.

National Philharmonic partners with students from Nicolas Orem Middle School in Hyattsville, MD, St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Beltsville, MD, and the DC Youth Orchestra Program. Because of limited resources, these students have never had an opportunity for one-on-one class instruction. Those taking part in the program are receiving instruction on a wide range of instruments, including violin, viola, cello, flute, trumpet, and voice.

“I have heard from two of my families that their children will be receiving the private lessons with the National Philharmonic and I am so excited for them! Thank you for providing such an incredible opportunity for my students.”

Gina Gomes, Music and Art teacher at Saint Joseph’s Regional Catholic School

The NatPhil Lesson Bank program is supported by a generous grant provided by Jill and Jim Lipton; additional support is provided by Charles Dukes.

Color the Music

School Program · Ages 5–17

Launched in 2016, the Color the Music program encourages students 5-17 to create artwork depicting music performed at National Philharmonic’s concerts throughout the season. Artwork is on display in the Orchestra Lobby of the Music Center at Strathmore the weekend of the concerts, on our website, and on social media.  To date, 20 Montgomery County Schools grades K-12 and 600+ students have participated in the program.

“…this was a truly amazing opportunity for my kiddos! Their art looked amazing… It was a really great experience.”

Sara Lucas-dress, Adaptive Art Specialist, Longview School

“They enjoyed this new kind of inspiration for their art.”

MCPS HS Foundations of Art Teacher


Young Musicians

Throughout the year, the National Philharmonic offers talented young musicians the opportunity to perform for and be mentored by critically acclaimed guest artists who appear in concert with the Philharmonic.

Pre-selected students perform these master classes, which are free and open to the public, providing a chance to observe master musicians sharing their experience and skills with the country’s future performers.

National Philharmonic Masterclasses are sponsored by Potter Violins.

2nd Grade Concerts

School Program · Montgomery County 2nd Graders

Each year, the National Philharmonic performs a concert for every 2nd grader in the county, introducing over 10,000 students to the wonder of live performance.

Provided by Strathmore in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools, these collaborative concerts provide a lesson on classical music and meet curriculum objectives for students. Strathmore Student Concerts are made possible with generous support from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Geico, and Jordan Kitts Music.

Support National Philharmonic

National Philharmonic relies on the generosity of its donors to continue bringing you the music. Your contribution is critical to our continued success.

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