National Tour: Arts Leadership on the Road

From the Top is more than a radio show: it’s an opportunity for young musicians to develop as arts leaders.

Arts Leadership Orientation

Arts Leadership Orientation

As From the Top tours the country, conducting recordings in more than 16 cities, the performers participate in an Arts Leadership Orientation on the front or back end of their show. Within an experiential framework that includes large and small group exercises framing the big issues at play in their current world, the performers begin to develop an understanding of:

  • 21st century audiences and strategies for inspiring and engaging them
  • Their unique pathways and potential as artists and leaders
  • The role music can play in making a difference in their communities

At the center of the Arts Leadership Orientation is the creation of a community outreach activity that the performers plan and implement as a group in a pre-determined tour site venue. The performers are powerful role models as they conduct these outreach activities in schools and/or a variety of community settings, sharing their talents and personal stories to engage diverse audiences that are often underserved.

Community Outreach activities on the Road

From the Top conducts single event school and community performances and in-depth multi-pronged residencies in the communities where our radio show tours, leveraging the power of young performers ages eight to eighteen as role models for roughly 3,500 students each year. These include half-day events and extended partnerships and residencies.

Half-Day Events

From the Top works with each presenter to customize outreach events that extend the show experience into the community. Half-day events can include:

  • School & Community Performances with From the Top performer(s)
  • Students from local schools attending Dress Rehearsal for a behind-the-scenes look at From the Top
  • Pre-show talk with a member of the production team for adult and youth audiences
  • Interactive music workshops

Here’s an example:

For more information on half-day From the Top events, contact Michael Dahlberg, Director of National Outreach Programs at

Extended Partnerships & Residencies

From the Top designs single or multi-day programs designed to build on the interests of existing programs in our host communities. The following are some current and past examples:

Kentucky and South Florida

With funding from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and their interest in supporting From the Top’s education and outreach programs, From the Top has sponsored extended residencies in Kentucky and South Florida in 2014-15. These multi-day, customized programs have focused on underserved audiences, and have been planned jointly with local partners – the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville (check out a video documentary of this program), Kentucky and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. They have included:

  • Assembly programs designed as interactive experiences, featuring From the Top alums along with celebrating local talent
  • Small group workshops, such as a mini master class for string players
  • Arts leadership orientation workshops.

Iowa Makes Music

In partnership with Orchestra Iowa, Iowa Makes Music was a multi-faceted residency funded by the United States Department of Education, including:

  • From the Top radio recordings
  • School visits
  • Resources for teachers
  • An arts leadership program for high school musicians

Hawaii Public Radio

From the Top partnered with Hawaii Public Radio to share the power of classical music across Hawaii Island. From the Top recorded broadcasts in Waimea and Kea’au, and visited five schools and one youth center, sharing the performances and experiences of From the Top musicians with diverse community members of all ages.

Turn it UP in Boston

Turn It UP, made possible through the Wallace Foundation, was a From the Top program within three Boston Public Elementary Schools to enhance instrumental music program and encourage student participation and skill-building in music.

To learn more about these extended partnerships and residencies, and how they can be adapted in your community, contact Michael Dahlberg, Director of National Outreach Programs, at

Making a difference at home

Ongoing guidance through a From the Top network of coaching support and material resources is available to assist all performers in developing their individual interests and projects once they return home. Examples of past projects include: