Rockford Symphony Orchestra presents free Youth Concert

Rockford Symphony Orchestra presents free Youth Concert


As part of the Rockford Arts Revival Grant, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra is pleased to present a free Youth Concert for nearly 2,000 second graders at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 9 at the Coronado Theatre. The educational concert, titled “The Beat Goes On,” will be performed by its creators, comedian Heidi Joyce and conductor Randall Fleischer, along with the musicians of the Rockford Symphony.

“The Beat Goes On: Exploring the Rhythm of Life” is a part of “Cool Concerts for Kids!” which presents a fresh, contemporary approach to teaching classical music to kids. It is a funky, energetic program that explores pulse, tempo and meter, building fun relationships between the rhythm in music and the rhythms in daily life. The interactive program features Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance,” Strauss’s “Blue Danube Waltz,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Brahms’s Hungarian Dance #6, Gliere’s “Russian Sailor’s Dance” and Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture. During the “Beat It” audience rhythm symphony, the children are encouraged to use their bodies as percussion instruments. The highlight of the program is the “Rhythm Rap,” a groundbreaking symphonic rap piece written by Joyce and Fleischer, the “Cool Concerts for Kids!” creators, which uses “rap” to teach rhythmic concepts.

Prior to attending the performance, teachers were given pre-concert classroom materials, including an introduction from the conductor and the narrator, background information on the musical pieces to be highlighted, biographical information about the composers, musical terms, and explanations regarding the functioning of an orchestra. The educational package also includes various games and activities related to the performance, which emphasize the “Beat” theme.

This concert was made possible by a grant to Rockford Public School District 205 form the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the Rockford Arts Revival Grant Program is to create a district-wide, high-quality fine arts program that will integrate art, music, dance and drama with other academic areas to improve qualities central to student success in school. In addition to expanding its Youth Concert program, through this grant, the Rockford Symphony has also greatly increased its presence in area classrooms through additional Symphony Goes to School sessions. Youth Concerts performed exclusively for District 205 students are also planned for next season.

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