The FSO is collaborating with renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein for two residencies; one was during the week of November 19, 2016 and the second will be during the week of March 4, 2017. She will create her interactive performances of J.S. Bach’s Inventions for ten Title-1 elementary public schools in Fairfax County. Ms. Dinnerstein is calling her initiative “Bach-packing” because she will be packing up and bringing a digital piano into schools, taking it from classroom to classroom, in order to interact with students in the most personal and meaningful way.

The Bach-packing program will also increase its impact by live-streaming one of the classes, enabling all public elementary school students in Fairfax County to participate. During these classes, Ms. Dinnerstein presents interactive performances and leads musical discussions that connect the music of Bach to jazz, techno, rap and other contemporary music. To further deepen the experience, the FSO invited participating students to a rehearsal of the Fairfax Symphony’s November 19, 2016 and will do the same for the March 4, 2017 concert, in which Simone Dinnerstein performs, to enable students to get a better sense of how an orchestra, and Ms. Dinnerstein, prepare for a performance.

Music video by Simone Dinnerstein performing An Honest Guide to Bach's Inventions: Bachpacking to School. (C) 2014 Sony Music Entertainment

This project seeks to engage underserved populations that do not make up a significant portion of a typical classical music audience. The FSO is partnering with ten Title 1 elementary schools, where this project will be especially meaningful. For example, Woodburn Elementary School, where 57% of the student population participate in the free and reduced price lunch program, has been selected as one of the ten participating schools.

The FSO is very excited to collaborate with Ms. Dinnerstein and the Fairfax County schools to offer this one-of-a-kind educational program to our county's students. If your Title-1 school is interested in having this program, there may still be an opportunity to get involved in the March program. For more information, please contact the FSO Coordinator at

“Schools are wonderful places to expose children to this beautiful art form. When I play for students, I try to create a sense that classical music can be a meaningful, everyday experience. The Bach Inventions that I will be playing for them are often among the first pieces that classical piano students learn, yet they communicate everything that classical music has to offer.”
— Simone Dinnerstein