Children 9 months old and their 90-year-old great-grandparents will delight at the Conway Symphony Orchestra performance of the “Carnival of the Animals” at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas. Tickets are available at the Reynolds Box Office, by phone at 501.450.3265 or toll free at 1.866.810.0012, and at www.uca.edu/tickets.
All tickets are $5 for this special performance, making the concert an affordable outing for the whole family. For this concert only, the CSO will also offer open seating.
The concert will also feature “Tubby the Tuba,” and a children’s carnival immediately following the one-hour performance. The CSO musicians will offer an “instrument petting zoo,” inviting children to touch and play the instruments. There will also be refreshments and other children’s activities.
In addition, the humane society will have animals to meet at a “real” animal petting zoo outside of Reynolds.
The CSO Children’s Concert is always a fun and interesting performance, and this year is no exception. “Carnival of the Animals” will introduce short musical selections, each one representing a different animal, from lions and elephants to kangaroos and swans, with fish scales and piano scales, crazy cuckoos and dancing skeletons.
Helping to tell the story will be guest narrator Trenton Lee Stewart, author of the best-selling children’s novels The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, as well as a novel and several short stories for adults. A native Arkansan, he lives in Little Rock with his wife and two sons.
“The greatest lesson of ‘Carnival of the Animals’ is that music is to be enjoyed,” said CSO Music Director Israel Getzov. “It’s great family concert fare.”
The 14-part work contains musical portraits of various animals and borrows music from several other pieces to entertaining effect. Though it was written for fun, its clever use of various instruments offers interesting insight into the instruments themselves. The brief parts mimic the sounds an animal makes or characterize the way it moves or carries itself.
“Children love to learn how things work,” said Getzov. “I’ll take us all behind the scenes to discover the instruments, individuals and ideas that come together to create that unique symphony orchestra sound.”
Now in its 24th season, the Conway Symphony Orchestra exists to create meaningful experiences through performances and education. The CSO roster is composed of both professional and pre-professional musicians performing a six-concert season, plus classroom educational programs. Through the support of corporate and individual donors, the CSO keeps tickets affordable, making the enjoyment of classical and popular music available to the entire community.