Kids need classical music – we’re all familiar with the studies that repeatedly show how much it improves grades, test scores, teamwork, concentration and behavior. But sometimes it’s hard to get them to live concerts, due to programming, timing, location or cost. The Tacoma Symphony, in partnership with Ted Brown Music and the University of Puget Sound Community Music department, is taking up the challenge by developing its once-a-year family concert into a series of four weekend afternoon shows at various venues which explore the four different instrumental sections of the orchestra with music kids will love. And they begin this weekend.
First up is “Peter and the Wolf.” Yes, it’s an old chestnut for kids’ concerts, but that’s because the tale of a slightly disobedient boy who saves his bird friends from a wicked wolf is a perennial crowd-pleaser, together with the score by Sergei Prokofiev that perfectly caricatures Peter, the bird, the duck, the cat, the wolf, the grumpy grandpa and the ridiculous hunters who make up the story. Conductor Harvey Felder will also explain the different instruments that make up the wind section of the orchestra.
TSO are playing the piece, narrated by Tacoma Opera director Noel Koran, in the Rialto Theater this Sunday. But they’re also playing it free for all military families in the Evergreen Theater at Joint Base Lewis McChord on Saturday, thanks to the Department of Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The series continues with three concerts at UPS’ Schneebeck Concert Hall: “Mozart’s Magical Remote Control” with the TSO string quintet on Feb. 10; “Pirates!” with the TSO brass quintet on March 3; and “Rhythms from Around the World” with the percussion quartet on April 14.
All shows are at 2:30 p.m., with tickets $7 for adults, $5 for kids. An instrument petting zoo runs one hour before each concert.
From the press release: “The use of small ensembles provides an opportunity for special intimacy between the musicians and children, as well as the flexibility to incorporate more interactive elements.”
Classical music for South Sound kids just became a whole lot easier.
“Peter and the Wolf” plays at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Evergreen Theater at Joint Base Lewis McChord (free for military); and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma (tickets $7 adults/$5 children). Information: 253-591-5894, tacomasymphony.org