“Great live music is one of the best gifts you can give or receive.“
This past month I had the opportunity to attend two great live performances. The first was a family concert performed by the symphony orchestra in our little town. I love that as a community we support fine art and good culture and that local musicians have an outlet for their talents to be heard and appreciated by others.
This was a family concert, which I personally love because kids are talking, walking and dancing in the aisles, and eating snacks. I think this is how music should be enjoyed – alongside people you love, moving, talking, eating, being human.
The concert featured “Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant”, which is a children’s book written by Jack Prelutsky and set to music by Lucas Richman. The book and music are composed of household objects combined cleverly with an animal – umbrellaphants, toadsters, alarmadillos. Mr. Prelutsky was the narrator for the concert, and the whole effect was so original and captivating. Definitely a “Carnival of the Animals for the new millennium.”
The orchestra also performed a few pieces from Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, which is always welcome. Then the winner of the orchestra’s young musician’s competition played with the orchestra. She played excellently – a high school senior, violinist, with several accolades already behind her name in the bio. The end of the concert featured the youth symphony playing side by side with the symphony orchestra. What a terrific opportunity for those kids. It’s so worthwhile attending live concerts! I loved the opportunity to attend with my girls.
A few weeks later I was thrilled to attend a concert of the Boulder Philharmonic with my husband. The concert, titled “Cirque Goes to the Movies” was a collaboration of the philharmonic with Cirque de la Symphonie, a group of cirque acts performed on the stage shared with the full symphony orchestra. The acts included aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen. The concert also featured Janice Martin, the “World’s Only Acrobatic Aerial Violinist”, a Juilliard-trained violinist.
Combine these acts with the world-class Boulder Philharmonic playing gorgeous movie themes, and you’ve got yourself a sure winner. The music was radiant, emotionally-charged and technically precise. The Cirque acts were at times charming, humorous, breathtaking and nerve-wracking.
I love that traditional orchestras are collaborating with other art forms, some of which are culturally trendy such as the Cirque, to present fresh and engaging concerts. I believe these types of concerts bring new audiences to the concert hall and therefore give the orchestra more exposure to a wider group of people.
And speaking of concert halls…
Macky Auditorium on the campus of Colorado University, Boulder is absolutely stunning.