Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dr. Seuss Meets the Symphony in the Lollipops Series Green Eggs and Ham Concert

Michael Boudewyns as Sam I Am
If you live in the Charlotte area and you have kids, you should have been at the Belk Theatre this morning for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra's third concert in the family-friendly Lollipops Concert Series, Green Eggs and Ham.  This was a single date engagement, so if you missed it, you're out of luck.  However, this is a traveling performance so if you live in another metropolitan area, this concert could be coming soon to a symphony near you!

Playing recorded classical music at home or in the car is all well and good, but there's nothing like taking children to the symphony for a real, live performance.  Unfortunately, children have shorter attention spans than adults, have more difficulty remaining silent throughout the performance, and are prone to late-night meltdowns around the time that the orchestra is typically tuning up and ready to go.  The Lollipops concerts are on Saturday mornings, and because there are more kids in the theatre than adults, you don't feel like your child's questions, comments, or ants-in-the-pants antics are ruining anything for other audience members.  What's more, each of these concerts has done an excellent job of engaging audience members of all ages, from tiny preschoolers up through adults.  There are activities in the lobby prior to the concert, such as opportunities for kids to try out percussion instruments with symphony musicians, as well as themed word searches and coloring sheets.  Today's performance involved actor Michael Boudewyns, whose Cat In the Hat voices had my husband laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face, as well as delightful soprano Kimberly Schroeder, who sang about how she would not, could not, eat green eggs and ham.  What a fantastic way to introduce small children to the operatic concept! 

Jacomo Rafael Bairos, Assistant Conductor, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
As usual, our favorite artist was Portuguese-American conductor Jacomo Rafael Bairos.  He has been with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra for less than a year, and he brings so much energy and enthusiasm to the podium; you can tell he is passionate about sharing music with children.  Anders, who brings his own conductor's baton to every performance and "helps" the Maestro from the Grand Balcony, got a chance to talk to Mr. Bairos after today's performance and even got an autographed program and some career advice.  Maestro says, if you want to be a conductor someday, learn to play the piano!  If that's the case, Anders is well on his way.

Prior Lollipops performances have involved puppets, and I understand that ballet dancers from the North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance will be assisting the Symphony with their next Lollipops concert, Carnival of the Animals on April 30th.  You can buy tickets to that concert here.  I hope to see you there!

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