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Arts & Entertainment + Campus Life

The Sounds of (Free) Music

Symphony Card offers free performances for students, discounts for faculty and staff

BSO (Michael Lutch).jpg

The Boston Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Michael Lutch

A tight budget is no longer a reason for BU students to miss out on performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. With a BSO College Card, they can attend BSO concerts and open rehearsals — for free.

BSO College Cards have been available for $25 to students from any college or university, but now, for the second year, BU students don’t have to pay for the card, the result of a collaboration of the College of Fine Arts, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the BSO. The cards are also available to BU faculty and staff, enabling them to buy tickets for half the regular price.The card program is in line with President Robert A. Brown’s goal of making the arts an important part of every BU student’s education. Walt Meissner, CFA dean ad interim, led the effort, and he hopes the program will encourage more students to get involved with the arts at CFA as well. “Just as BU is an arts and cultural leader in the city of Boston,” Meissner says, “I want CFA to be a leader on campus, welcoming and encouraging all BU students to make the arts a part of their everyday lives.”

The distribution of BSO College Cards began on September 1 at Splash, hosted by the Student Activities Office, and the cards will also be available at the University’s Fall Activities Expo on Wednesday, September 17. Students, faculty, and staff who are not attending either of these events can pick up a card at the CFA Dean’s Office (855 Commonwealth Ave., Suite 230) or at the Information Desk on the second floor of the GSU (775 Commonwealth Ave.). Faculty and staff can also obtain a College Card at Human Resources later in the semester. To receive a card, students, faculty, and staff need only show their BU ID. There is a limit of one card per person.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has already made 20 concerts and rehearsals available to card members, but more performances will be added throughout the season. Each card has a unique ID number and card holders can register their card on the BSO’s Web site to find out what performances are available and to receive e-mail alerts when new performances are added.

Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore says he “thought it was wonderful” when Meissner approached him about the program. “This is just another opportunity for our students to engage in one of the great cultural spaces and one of the great cultural organizations within the city,” Elmore says. “The BSO is part of what gives this city character.”

Students must pick up tickets, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis, at the Symphony Hall box office, 301 Massachusetts Ave., between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. the day of the performance, with a BSO College Card and a valid student I.D. They can visit the BSO Web site or call 617-638-9478 to check the availability of tickets on the day of the performance.