Saturday, November 21, 2009

REVIEW: DSO Young People's Concert Series

Hola! This morning, my son and I attended a performance of "South of the Border" at Orchestra Hall that was part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Young People's Concerts series. DSO Young People's Concerts are one hour long and are specifically for children age 6 to 12. The concerts are performed by the entire Detroit Symphony Orchestra with arrangements and added extras that help kids understand and better appreciate live classical music. We received our tickets compliments of the DSO from following them on Twitter and Facebook.

The music from "South of the Border" was a mix of South American classical music and jazz. The performance was moderated by DSO Violist Caroline Coade, who was dressed as a Spanish dancer. She liken music to a taco, saying that both are layered with texture, flavor, and color. She asked the kids in the audience to close their eyes as the listened to each piece and let their imaginations take them to different places.

One piece called "Bachiana Brasileria No. 2" was based on a train ride through the countryside. My son closed his eyes and imagined himself on the train as it was speeding up and then coming to stop at the end. The piece even included a clarinet that sounded like a train whistle. Two children from the audience where picked to come on stage and sit with the orchestra while the piece was played. Everyone could tell that the kids were very excited by the honor.

The last piece was written and performed by DSO jazz director Michel Camilo. Michel was born in Santo Domingo and the piece ,"Piano Concerto No. 1", was Michel's interpretation of his family going from worshipping in church to feasting and celebrating in the countryside of his homeland. We had great seats in the center, 7 rows from the stage and we were able to see Michel's hands as they flew across the piano keys as he played with the orchestra. It was amazing. Even my son was impressed.

The concert was wonderful. Since my son is currently studying Spanish in school, this concert tied in great with what he is learning. The length of the concert was perfect - just long enough to get a flavor of the music and short enough to entertain kids (and adults) who find it difficult to sit still.

The next DSO Young People's Concerts Series concert is "Home for the Holiday for Kids" on Saturday, December 19th. I am sure it will be just as good as today's concert. AdiĆ³s.


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