CLEVELAND - The cost of attending a Cleveland Orchestra concert can be challenging for a family.
A special program, however, gives families the opportunity to enjoy a performance without spending a lot of money. It's called "Under 18s Free".
"As music education gets cut from schools more and more we believe it's our obligation to make sure people can at least come and attend it, " said Ross Binnie, Chief Marketing Officer for the Cleveland Orchestra.
Binnie says the program started in the summer of 2011 and thousands of kids have attended concerts.
The "Under 18s Free" program was introduced for Blossom Musical Festival concerts in 2011. It now includes select Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Severance Hall Each season.
At Blossom, this program offers free lawn passes, two per regular-priced adult paid admission, to young people to any Blossom Music Festival concert.
At Severance Hall, Families receive one free ticket for a child, ages 7 to 17, to use for every paid adult admission to the Orchestra's Fridays@7, Friday Morning at 11, and Sunday Afternoon at 3 concerts, as well as Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra concerts, Family Concerts, and PNC Musical Rainbows.
The free tickets for Severance Hall concerts eligible for this program must be purchased through the Severance Hall Ticket Office and are not available online at this time.
One Northeast Ohio mom, Susan Bichsel, says her and her husband love to bring their two children to Severance Hall.
"They do enjoy coming and we try to take advantage of it as often we can," said Bischel. "It's family time. It all comes together. It's real meaningful to us."
Bischel remembers her father taking her to see Orchestra concerts when she was little. She is happy to now share this opportunity with her children.
You can read more about the program at http://www.clevelandorchestra.com/tickets/student-tickets.aspx .