Tobin Center has a growing education program, Generation Next. It includes master classes, open rehearsals, weekday matinees for school groups, Q&As and other events providing a look behind the scenes. Education has been a component in the Tobin Center’s programming from the get-go, said Kendall Purpura, vice president of development and education. “From the very early days, it was part of the vision and an important part of the mission of the organization,” Purpura said. More than 50,000 students attended children’s shows and matinees in the Tobin Center’s first year. And more than 1,000 audience members, most of them students, have had face-to-face encounters with artists. Most recent encounters included one with Shirley Childress with Sweet Honey in the Rock, giving a Q&A almost entirely in American Sign Language to about 20 deaf and hearing impaired college students about her life and career. The other encounter, happening at the same time and just down the hall in the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater, was Deke Sharon holding a master class for vocal groups from Madison and MacArthur high schools. Sharon, an evangelist for a cappella music who worked on both of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. He listened to each student ensemble sing, then offered praise for what worked and tips on how they could improve.