Artists in Residence Program: Great exposure to great music in your school and on the concert stage! 

Ensuring that your students have access to great music certainly isn’t getting any easier in today’s limited-budget climate. The Grand Rapids Symphony remains committed to ensuring that these experiences remain an active part of every child’s education.  One way we do this is through the Artists in Residence (AIR) Program.

This is a two-year partnership program between select schools and the Grand Rapids Symphony to provide not only traditional concert experiences, but also performances in the schools by small ensembles of Symphony musicians. Now, more than ever, the AIR program provides tremendous, cost-effective programming for your school.

Each year, participating schools receive:

Lollipop Concert Tickets - the first-exposure concert for all Kindergarten through second grade students at no additional cost to AIR Partners!

Third Grade Concert Tickets - All third graders attend this high energy concert featuring GRS Principal Percussionist, Bill Vits at no additional cost to AIR Partners!

Instrument/String Discovery Ensemble - All fourth-grade students have the unique opportunity to an up-close and hands-on view of select instruments of the orchestra led by Symphony musicians.  This experience is exclusive to the AIR program!

Link Up Concert Tickets - a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute - is a lively and interactive program where participating students attend a culminating concert where they sing and play the recorder or violin with the orchestra from their seats.

NEW THIS YEAR, Sixth-grade students will have the opportunity to see the Grand Rapids Symphony behind-the-scenes at an open rehearsal. School groups will attend a GRS rehearsal during the school day. While at the hall, students will also get to talk with conductors and musicians about what it’s like to be part of the Symphony.

In-school Performances - Each school also receives grade-level appropriate performances for all Kindergarten through fifth-grade students in their school by small ensembles of GR Symphony musicians.  This experience is exclusive to the AIR Program!


The total value of this program is more than $12,000! Thanks to the generous support of Grand Rapids Symphony donors, corporate and foundation partners, schools pay just a fraction of the cost, $1,100 per year.

Participation fee waivers for schools with demonstrated need!

For returning schools, a limited number of AIR Participation Fee Waivers are available to schools with high percentages of students qualifying for the Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) program.  Schools with at least 70% of their student body qualifying for the FRL program are eligible to be considered for a waiver.  You do not need to indicate that you wish to be considered for a waiver.  The selection process will use all the waivers available for the top qualifying schools based on percentages of FRL-eligible students.  If accepted, you will be notified if you will receive a waiver.

How to apply:

Schools are selected through an application process. Applications for the 2020-2022 program cycle are available now. The application deadline is May 11, 2020.  

Presented by:

Sponsored by:

Artsplace | Beusse & Porter Family Foundation | Chase | DeCamp Foundation | Fountain Street Church | The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation | The Harr A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation