Tonight we attended the Idaho State Civic Symphony‘s family concert. We went with some friends from ISU after sharing a pizza dinner. It was the kids’ first time in the Grand Concert Hall at the performing arts center — they were especially wowed when we went up to one of the balconies afterwards.
The hour before the concert included activities in the rotunda of the performing arts center, including “meet the instruments” with a few members of the Idaho State Youth Symphony, a table of Native American musical instruments, and a cookie decorating station (this last had nothing to do with music, but a lot to do with kids!)
We sat waaaay up high in the hall, which was fun because we could easily see all the instruments and musicians on stage quite well (and luckily the hall has such great acoustics that there truly are no bad seats). The performance began with a little skit by Theater/Dance ISU about “concert etiquette”: all the things one should not do at a performance, like using cell phones, taking flash pictures, etc.
Then the wonderful conductor, Dr. Chung Park, went through all the families of instruments while the respective musicians played examples of their instrument’s sound and range with short excerpts. The evening included a “range challenge” between the French horn, trumpet, and tuba (the tuba won!), a piece for garden hose horns (oddly, they looked a lot like those horns you see above), and a performance including 17 percussion instruments (plus a bonus 18th, a plastic whistle). Three children were chosen from the audience to choose from 3 melodies, 3 harmonies, and 3 rhythms to create what ended up as the world premiere of the “Pocatello Tango”.
The kids loved it, though it took us way past bedtime and they were exhausted. Napoleona liked the concert harp and double bass the best, while SillyBilly liked the tuba. Anthropapa enjoyed the trombone, while I loved it all and even got a little teary-eyed that my kids had just enjoyed their first symphony. They are so lucky.