PGSO host­ing chil­dren’s con­cert

The Prince George Citizen - - Local - Frank PEE­BLES Cit­i­zen staff fpee­[email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

Chil­dren ap­pre­ci­ate mu­sic dif­fer­ently than el­ders, mid-adults, or even teens. Lit­tle kids have their own spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with sound, with move­ment and with vis­ual com­edy.

The Prince Ge­orge Sym­phony Orches­tra (PGSO) is a gar­den of sound and move­ment, so they are cul­ti­vat­ing the next gen­er­a­tions of mu­sic lovers with a set of con­certs es­pe­cially for the small­est of lis­ten­ers. The sec­ond show in this se­ries of Kin­derCon­certs is en­ti­tled String Beans.

“Join us for this nar­rated story about the life-cy­cle of string beans fea­tur­ing the PGSO strings and wood­winds mu­si­cians and a fairy bal­le­rina,” said PGSO gen­eral man­ager Teresa Saun­ders.

The story was writ­ten by long­time lo­cal mu­si­cian and con­duc­tor Bar­bara Parker, who has a long re­la­tion­ship with the PGSO.

“As you know, we are try­ing to de­velop ways to ex­pose Prince Ge­orge kids to clas­si­cal mu­sic be­cause they are our fu­ture au­di­ence and mu­si­cians, and be­cause ex­po­sure to a wide spec­trum of mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ences helps us de­velop well-rounded, bal­anced lives,” said Parker. “We feel that one of the best ways to con­nect with this age range is through sto­ry­telling. So that is the for­mat for this up­com­ing con­cert.”

The story is all about string beans and there is a pun built into the con­tent. This show fo­cuses on the play­ers of the orches­tra who play stringed in­stru­ments (like vi­o­lin, vi­ola, cello and bass), with some help from that other or­ganic kind of in­stru­ment, the wood­wind (clar­inet, sax­o­phone, oboe, bas­soon, flute).

There will also be some ac­tual bean plants in­volved in the en­ter­tain­ment. Saun­ders laughed that she had been mar­vel­ling at the growth of all the lit­tle con­cert plants hap­pen­ing in the PGSO of­fice lead­ing up to this event.

“It is a cute story about the life cy­cle of a string bean plant in a spe­cial gar­den,” Parker said. Two of the city’s most lauded young dancers are de­pict­ing the char­ac­ters. Laura Buchanan is por­tray­ing the string bean and Sara Mc­Gowan is por­tray­ing the bal­let fairy. Both are teach­ers and per­form­ers with Judy Rus­sell’s En­chaine­ment Dance Cen­tre.

The sound­track that in­forms the story will be per­formed by 11 mu­si­cians from the PGSO orches­tra’s ros­ter of mu­si­cians. Vis­ual pro­jec­tions and light­ing ef­fects will also have a part in the event, cour­tesy of Jon Rus­sell from Rus­sell Au­dio­Vi­sual.

“Even though String Bean is the fo­cus in our gar­den, sev­eral lit­tle crit­ters will be vis­it­ing as well,” said Parker. “Some will be crea­tures that a per­son would ex­pect to see in a gar­den, but there will be some that wouldn’t be ex­pected, or maybe even wanted in the gar­den. Each event and char­ac­ter or vis­i­tor in our story will have a piece of as­so­ci­ated mu­sic per­formed.”

All the kids who at­tend will also get props to use in the in­ter­ac­tive sto­ry­telling process, and all will go home with a part­ing gift to re­mem­ber the mu­sic by. They will also get a chance to meet the mu­si­cians and dancers after the show to fur­ther deepen their con­nec­tion to the per­for­mance.

“We will be per­form­ing a cou­ple of three- to four-minute pieces dur­ing the String Bean con­cert in their en­tirety be­cause they are so beau­ti­ful they just can­not be edited,” said Parker. “How­ever, those are pieces that will also in­volve ma­jor dance el­e­ments, so the vis­ual as­pect will help keep the at­ten­tion of the kids, and al­low them to in­gest the im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment of the mu­sic. Most of the se­lec­tions are writ­ten for large or­ches­tras, and must be re-or­ches­trated to be played by only 11 mu­si­cians. This is an­other chal­lenge, but I am grate­ful that our mu­si­cians are so col­lab­o­ra­tive and ea­ger to be flex­i­ble in or­der to make the best fi­nal prod­uct pos­si­ble.”

The String Bean Kin­derCon­cert hap­pens on Satur­day at 2 p.m. at the Prince Ge­orge Play­house.

Tick­ets are avail­able on­line through Cen­tral In­te­rior Tick­ets or at the door while sup­plies last.

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