Student musicians including members of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) and Talent Development Program (TDP) are set to perform alongside members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The Side-By-Side Concert at Atlanta Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Art Center on June 27 at 7:30 p.m. will mark the end of an intensive four-day orchestral workshop. About 55 student musicians will participate.

The workshop lets the students take part in special coaching sessions with symphony musicians, sit next to orchestra members during rehearsals and receive nearly 20 hours of musical instruction from staff conductor Jere Flint. Students will also be paired with an Atlanta Symphony musician who will serve as their mentor throughout the entire workshop.

Justin Blalock ā€” the starting left guard for the Atlanta Falcons ā€” has been an advocate for the ASO and its music education efforts throughout the past year, and he will perform on tuba alongside the Orchestra members and student musicians at this year’s concert.

Blalock, who grew up playing the tuba and continues to play the drums and guitar, recognizes the importance of music-rich educational experiences and is also a spokesperson for the Atlanta Symphony’s “When I Play Music” campaign for music education (

“Growing up in Texas as an athlete and musician, I discovered firsthand that playing both football and tuba helped me thrive in all areas of life. When kids play music, they are more likely to become community leaders, have more confidence, and experience a sense of achievement,” said Blalock.

PHOTO CAPTION: Atlanta Falcon Justin Blalock, in center, with youth performers. Photo by JD Scott

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