Previous Outreach Programs


The FSO collaborated with renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein for two residencies during the weeks of November 19, 2016 and March 4, 2017. She created her interactive performances of J.S. Bach’s Inventions for ten Title-1 elementary public schools in Fairfax County. Ms. Dinnerstein calls her initiative “Bach-packing” because she packs up and brings 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 increased 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 presented interactive performances and led musical discussions that connected the music of Bach to jazz, techno, rap and other contemporary music. To further deepen the experience, the FSO invited participating students to rehearsals of the Fairfax Symphony’s November 19, 2016 and March 4, 2017 concerts with Simone Dinnerstein, 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 sought to engage underserved populations that do not make up a significant portion of a typical classical music audience. The FSO partnered with ten Title 1 elementary schools, where this project was especially meaningful. For example, Woodburn Elementary School, where 57% of the student population participate in the free and reduced price lunch program, was selected as one of the ten participating schools.

Please give a big round of applause to our sponsors who helped fund our Bach-packing events including the ARTS Council of Fairfax, NEA, and the Virginia Council for the Arts.


“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