September 23rd, 2014
This week sees the first event of the Symphony of the Redwoods 2014-15 season – the 11th annual Children’s Concert. On Friday Sept 26th, over 2000 local children from 5 schools on the Mendocino Coast will attend one of three performances to be held at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg.
This year the Symphony will perform the music of John Williams’ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The music, from the movie of the same name, is in five movements, including Witches, Wands, and Wizards; Aunt Marge’s Waltz; The Knight Bus; A Bridge to the Past; and Double Trouble. For this final movement the orchestra will be joined by the choirs of both Mendocino and Fort Bragg High Schools.
The Harry Potter movies are so popular, that this music is sure to be a big hit with the kids. What they may not realize is that it’s actually quite challenging to play! You can bet those musicians are practicing away this week in preparation for their rehearsals and concerts!
There will be a narrator to explain what the music is about, and besides the Harry Potter music, the musicians in the orchestra will demonstrate their instruments so that the students can appreciate both the different sounds created by the different instruments, and also gain some understanding of how they are played.
The Symphony of the Redwoods is committed to providing free admission to under 18s to their concerts, and performs these children’s concerts annually with the goal of interesting young people in live classical music.
I am sure that if you asked the musicians in the Symphony of the Redwoods – or even in any professional orchestra, where they first were introduced to the idea of playing a musical instrument, a huge majority of them would say it was at school – either in the band program, or with instrumental lessons offered through the school. Current research shows the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument, and yet in schools all over the country, band and music programs are being cut. So we feel that these performances on Friday are more important than ever for the young people on the Coast.
If you’d like to find out more about the research into the benefits of playing a musical instrument, check out the following links: