Children's concert 'Rock Me Amadeus'

The Conway Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Children’s Concert at 2 p.m. Saturday at Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas.

With the theme of “Rock Me Amadeus,” this year’s performance features all things Mozart, including familiar excerpts from “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (A Little Night Music) and “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Tickets are $6 for all seats, and include refreshments, children’s crafts and a chance to “meet the instruments” immediately following the one-hour performance.

Concert sponsor First Security Bank will also offer door prizes and a visit from mascot Penny Pockets. For tickets, call 501.450.3265, toll free 1.866.810.0012, or visit

The interactive and educational children’s program is fun for all ages, as concert host Carol Sikes introduces the audience to Mozart’s music through a chat with Mozart himself (played by Chris Fritzges). Fritzges, assistant professor of theatre at UCA, has been performing for audiences for close to 20 years. Sikes, originally from Fort Smith, is a master’s degree candidate in clarinet performance and a former UCA twirler. Together they explore the stories behind the music, including visits to kings and queens, a lovesick boy and a rock star attitude.

Two talented guest artists will also join the Conway symphony musicians on stage. Anna Cheng, the UCA 2011 Concerto Competition winner, will perform “Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.” Currently a master’s piano student with Neil Rutman at UCA, Cheng is from the city of Yiwu, in the Zhejiang province of China, and received her degree in piano performance from East China Normal University. In addition, guest soloist Katy Hoover, soprano, will perform “Voi Che Sapete.” Hoover is a voice major who graduated from Valley View High School in Jonesboro.

The children’s concert will be the first performance for the Conway symphony with guest conductor Amy Chang on the podium, and she is excited to introduce Mozart to families.. “Mozart is a gift given to us, same as your kids,” said Chang. “They are treasures to all of us.”

For the third year in a row, the CSO is participating in the national Orchestras Feeding America program with a food drive at the children’s concert.

Audience members are asked to bring a non-perishable food item which will be donated to area food banks. The children’s concert and food drive are among several outreach programs sponsored by the Conway Symphony Orchestra, now in its 27th season. For more information on the CSO, call 501.269.1066 or visit