GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

January 17, 2013

Symphony in the schools

Initiative: Musicians take 'Peter and the Wolf' to students

By Allegra Boverman
Staff Writer

---- — Members of the Cape Ann Symphony orchestra have been busy this week performing at every elementary school in Cape Ann as part of their Cape Ann Symphony Youth Initiative.

And the project leads up to Friday, Jan. 25, when more than 800 fourth- and fifth-graders are expected to pour into two performances at the Symphony’s new home at Manchester Essex Regional High School to hear a concert that will include excerpts from “Peter and the Wolf,” by Sergei Prokofiev and Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

The first concert will be at 9:20 a.m. and the second will be at 10:40 a.m. The project is funded by the Robert W. Herig Trust, the North Shore Youth Orchestra and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

This year, for the first time, the orchestra will also travel to Memorial School in Beverly to perform for students on Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. Earlier that week, the orchestra will be visiting Beverly’s elementary schools to give demonstrations and perform for students in advance of that concert.

The CAS has for many years reached out to young people; children ages 12 and under are admitted free with the regular subscription series to their concerts.

Heidi Dallin, who is participating in the demonstrations as the narrator in “Peter and the Wolf,” said that children really responded to the music, the demonstrations by the musicians about their instruments and how they work. They “are really excited about the music and they had good questions. They were really interested in the instruments,” she said Wednesday after performing two music demonstrations at Rockport Elementary School and one at Veterans’ Memorial Elementary School in Gloucester.

Before the orchestra visited the area schools, students in fourth and fifth grades received advance study materials and lessons prepared by the orchestra for their teachers about their visit so the students can “get a taste” of what an orchestra concert will be like.

During the demonstration, the musicians, which include a flutist, the concertmaster, a clarinet player and a french horn player, plus Dallin, the narrator, talked about the history of their instruments, how they work and why they are seated in the orchestral formation. Students were eager to examine the instruments up close on Wednesday.

Students learned that in “Peter and the Wolf,” the instruments play the characters. For example, the duck is portrayed by an oboe. A bird, sounding sweet and light, is portrayed by a flute. The wolf, a villian, is portrayed by three french horns. Peter, the hero, is portrayed by a violin.

On Thursday, the CAS team will visit West Parish Elementary School, Manchester Memorial Elementary School, Glen Urquhart and the Waldorf School.

Times Photo Chief Allegra Boverman can be reached at 978-283-0700, x3448, or at aboverman@gloucestertimes.com.