Halloween, Mother Goose and the rhythm of rubbish are the themes of the N.C. Symphony's Young People's Series next season. But first, the symphony must wrap up its current season with a final concert designed for kids next weekend.
Bug Songs, featuring a colorful artistic take on the sounds and sights of the insect world, will be performed at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., March 10, at the Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh's Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts. The hour-long concerts are designed for kids ages four to 12 and their parents or caregivers.
The concert includes Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee, along with traditional favorites like "La Cucaracha." It will include demonstrations that show off individual instruments and their abilities to mimic music in the bug world.
The Triangle Youth Ballet will join the symphony on stage throughout the program to help bring visual life to the music.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again, these concerts are fantastic opportunities to expose young children to live classical music. The concerts, which typically include performers on stage in addition to the musicians, are the perfect length and sometimes include an interactive element. We have season tickets and my now seven-year-old daughter always looks forward to the concerts.
General admission tickets to the March 10 concerts are $20 each. Click here for more information and to get your tickets.
And as the symphony prepares to wrap up this season, they have announced the plans for next season's Young People's Series. New next season will be reserved seating. Instead of general admission seating, concertgoers to the kids shows will now have a reserved row and seat number.
That's a great move. We're always rushing into the hall to get the best seat as soon as we get there and missing some of the pre-concert activities in the lobby, which have included face painting, activities from Marbles Kids Museum and the symphony's instrument zoo, where kids can try out different instruments.
Here's what's scheduled for next season, with descriptions from the symphony. Concerts are performed twice, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
- Oct. 27, Halloween Spooktacular!, a spine-tingling trip into favorite spooky stories. Award-winning North Carolina storyteller Connie Regan-Blake reads children’s tales full of creepy twists and chilling villains in this popular Symphony offering. The program also features music from Harry Potter, Star Wars and more. At the end of the concert, little witches, wizards, ghouls, goblins, princesses and superheroes are invited to join the orchestra on stage for a Halloween costume parade.
- Jan. 5, 2013, Tales of Enchantment. The orchestra steps into the magical world of Mother Goose. Enchantment Theatre Company brings its signature blend of puppetry, magic, dance and pantomime to the Symphony for a spectacular reimagining of favorite childhood stories, based on the captivating music of Maurice Ravel. Audience members will enjoy Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, Beauty and the Beast, the Princess of the Pagodas and the Fairy Garden with live actors and musicians in this exciting and fanciful performance.
- March 9, 2013, Rhythm in Your Rubbish, a bang-up collaboration with Platypus Theatre. Find music in unexpected places when two colorful characters help concertgoers discover all the little things that ring, whistle, bang and sing using the most ordinary of objects. With their dynamic blend of music and theater, Platypus productions receive rave reviews from musicians, educators, parents and children alike.
The three-concert series ticket is available for $39. To subscribe, or for information about subscription options, go to the North Carolina Symphony season tickets page at www.ncsymphony.org/subscriptions or call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919-733-2750 or 877-627-6724.
Single tickets for next season will go on sale in August.