Saturday, February 02, 2013

visiting the symphony

One of the many wonderful things about our town is the annual Lollipop Concert.  Every February, the local symphony orchestra puts on a concert specifically designed for young children.  The music is selected especially for them, prices are discounted to $15 per family, and ushers with baskets of handmade chocolate lollipops stand at the exits after the concert concludes.  It's lovely.

In years past, we've only attended the concert; this year, we got there an hour early so that the children could go to the Instrument Petting Zoo.  It was so much fun--there was a huge room full of various instruments and cheerful musicians ready to teach the children how to produce a sound on each instrument (I especially appreciated the fact that they sanitized the instruments between each child).

The violin was the biggest hit with my children, which isn't surprising considering their obsession with Vivaldi (Isaac, I'm looking at you here!)  Luke was only willing to touch the strings somewhat gingerly, but the older three all happily sawed away (Juliet came back several times).

The girls tried every available instrument, and I was really impressed with how readily they were able to actually make sounds!  Abigail especially seemed to have a gift for producing really mellow tones with the woodwinds right off the bat.  And Jules was totally cracking me up because she was SO intent the whole time.

The concert itself was (mostly) fun.  The orchestra played one selection that told the story of Babar the elephant (I'd brought along our illustrated version so the kids followed along, and that helped with their attention spans) and another about Jack & Jill at Bunker Hill.  (Both were narrated, but the music was so loud during the second piece that we had no idea what was actually going on, but the music was exciting enough that it didn't matter.)  Our favorite was the portion in the middle where the conductor introduced each instrument, talked a bit about it, and then a soloist on that instrument played briefly.  This was DEFINITELY the highlight for Isaac, since the oboe played the duck's part from "Peter and the Wolf," which he listens to about once a day.  (Kind of funny--the conductor asked if anyone knew what character was represented by the oboe, and nobody on the mezzanine level was saying anything, and up in the balcony we had some frantic little children yelling, "IT'S DAH DUCK!  DAH DUCK!" in increasing frustration, since they were too far away to be heard.)

 Since we arrived so early, we had our pick of seats, which translated to the front row of the balcony overlooking the stage.  It was nice because the kids could roam a bit when they got bored (translation:  Luke didn't go insane because we sat right next to the steps and he walked up and down those four steps about 100 times).  Nobody was perfectly behaved, but all things considered, the night at the symphony with 4 little kids (past bedtime!) was a hit.  


Mary Beth said...

Oh wow, what fun! Sounds like an amazing experience for them--and I'm glad to hear it sounds like you enjoyed it, too. ;)

Anonymous said...

Fun times!
Aunt Pam

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