School Workshops & Partnerships

Apollo’s Fire collaborates with music teachers around NE Ohio and on tour to present workshops, masterclasses, and other enriching activities for students. Recent partnerships include Kirtland High School, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, Rainey Institute, CIM, and Miller South School (Akron).

At the elementary level, AF offers interactive 2-part in-school workshops. AF has served districts including CMSD, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Norton, Elyria, and schools such as Global Village Academy, Hudson Montessori, and Our Lady of Angels with these workshops since 2018.

On the national level, Jeannette Sorrell and AF principal players have coached high school and college students while on tour at Penn State University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the Lakeside Chautauqua, Shenandoah Conservatory, and San Diego State University. Jeannette Sorrell and AF principal cellist René Schiffer have also done extensive baroque coaching of the young professional players of the renowned New World Symphony in Miami – the nation’s premiere orchestral academy.

At the Laurel School, former AF Young Artist Apprentice Marissa Green and Laurel School alum speaks about how Apollo’s Fire changed her life:

At the Hawken School, Apollo’s Fire performs “Children of God” with the Hawken Chamber Choir

Sample collaborations include:

Miller South School for the Visual & Performing Arts

In March 2022, AF brought internationally-renowned artist Reggie Mobley to Miller South for a concert performance of music by underrepresented composers. The workshop, “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” also featured MOSAIC Artist Fellow Ashlee Foreman along with core Apollo’s Fire artists, and ended with the 400-student audience joining the artists for “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” During this week, the musicians also visited Rushwood Elementary (Nordonia), Brush High School (Lyndhurst-S. Euclid), and Dike School of the Arts (CMSD).

Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

In October 2013, AF brought Brandenburg Concertos no. 2-6 to a large audience of over 350 teenagers and parents. Afterwards, during the informal “Instrument Petting Zoo,” kids and parents swarmed the stage to try the instruments and talk to the musicians. “This is not just cool,” said one teenager. “This is certifiably cool.”

In October 2016, AF returned to Brecksville High School to perform “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse,” also with the highly popular petting zoo.

Riverside High School, Painesville

AF vocal guest artists taught Jeannette Sorrell’s “Alleluia” (from Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas) to the high school choir. Then the choir members attended a performance of Sacrum as AF’s special guests. After the concert, Ms. Sorrell and the guest artists met with the students in the balcony to discuss their impressions and questions about the concert – and to sing the “Alleluia” together.

Great Lakes Theatre Kids’ Camp

In June 2015, three members of AF’s baroque/folk troupe engaged children in a musical storytelling workshop at the Great Lakes Theatre camp at Berea High School.

Music Settlement & Rainey Institute

In 2013 and 2014, AF partnered with the Music School Settlement to provide guest coaching of the top-level youth orchestra at the invitation of David Malek. AF musicians have visited the Settlement both to coach the group and play alongside the students. In spring 2014, AF principal cellist René Schiffer coached the student orchestra at the Music School Settlement (ages 10 to 17) on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3. Mr. Malek called the experience “transformative” for the students.

AF musicians have led several workshops at the Rainey Insitute in recent years. In spring 2014, AF’s Apprentices gave an hour-long performance for approximately 70 El Sistema students at the Rainey Institute in Cleveland. The visit also integrated discussions of baroque terminology including ground bass, ballads, and improvisation, and generated many, many questions from the students!

Cleveland Institute of Music

Jeannette Sorrell has led several projects of the CIM-Case Baroque Orchestra, as well as a CIM chamber orchestra in a Mozart program. Most recently, Ms. Sorrell and AF cellist René Schiffer worked with CIM’s Young Artists (exceptional high school students) on a performance of Brandenburg Concerto no. 3.

Hathaway Brown & Laurel School

During 2013-14 and 2014-15, AF collaborated with Hathaway Brown in a year-long program culminating in a side-by-side concert with HB students and AF musicians. The collaboration began in the fall of 2013 with a coaching of HB’s Recorder Consort by AF’s Canadian recorder virtuoso Francis Colpron. The girls of the recorder ensemble then attended an AF subscription concert featuring the recorder – as special, complimentary guests of AF.

In March 2014, Jeannette Sorrell spoke about entrepreneurship to 20 girls who had signed up for the talk during their lunch hour. Ms. Sorrell told stories from her own experience to illustrate 4 concepts that she wanted to share – Dream Big, Persevere, Be Honest with Yourself, and Bring out the Best in Others. Finally in April of that year, AF held its annual gala benefit at the HB Atrium, with a concert featuring a 16-year-old violin soloist from the school playing the Vivaldi Winter Concerto with AF musicians, as well as the HB Recorder Consort performing Telemann with AF. Both the violin soloist and the recorder ensemble met with Ms. Sorrell for preparatory coachings/rehearsals leading up to the performance.

“You made such a difference in our next rehearsal at school. Now the girls have raised the bar and have a marvelous standard to reach toward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are all looking forward to our next opportunity to collaborate.”
– Deb Southard, Middle School Performing Arts Department Chair

In 2014-15, AF expanded this partnership to include collaborations with the HB middle-school choir and four high school violin soloists, as well as the Recorder Ensemble. These young musicians worked with Jeannette Sorrell for two weeks in preparation for a performance at AF’s April “Primavera!” Gala, alongside AF musicians. Their ecstatic comments about the experience are included in the report from Deb Southard, at the end of this document.

In 2015-16, Ms. Sorrell and AF principal players collaborated with the students at the Laurel School throughout April and May, leading to a joint performance at the AF Gala Benefit at Laurel in May. The performance featured four high-school violinists as well as Laurel’s 13-member chamber choir, performing alongside AF musicians.

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)

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