NewsBlog Editorâ€™s Note:This post is the second of a series written by CMIE Guided Intern Hermann Hudde, as part of the documentation for Huddeâ€™s CMIE Guided Internship. See other posts in this series here.
As a part of my internship at the Boston Symphony, I participated in their Youth Concert Series. Since 1888 the BSO has offered the community this kind of program, but Harry Ellis Dickson revitalized this educational activity according to the BSO Website the porpoise of the Youth Concert Series is as follow: â€œEach Youth and Family concert includes music chosen for young audiences. Captivating and compelling, these interactive concerts are led by renowned conductors and introduce the wide spectrum of classical music to young people and families. The musical performance, often accompanied by theatrical and visual elements, creates an exciting experience and encourages interaction between the conductor and audience members.â€ The website also gives specific information about the concert series itself. As a part of their education program, the BSO was played concerts for Boston Publics Schools. The BSO also offered at the same time pre and post-concerts activities for the children including instrumental demonstrations and conversations with the musicians.
For the particular concert I participated in, the BSO chose the title â€œWhat do you hear?â€. The program began with Mozartâ€™s Symphony No. 40, 1st movement. Once the orchestra concluded its interpretation, the conductor Mr. Federico Cortese greeted the children and told them to listen very carefully to the next piece because it was written by a man who represented the values of liberty and freedom. Mr. Cortese also used this opportunity to talk about the French Revolution and its importance for humanity. Furthermore, Mr. Cortese explained what an Overture is with it functions. Then the BSO played Fidelioâ€™s Overture by L.V. Beethoven.
After this children were introduced to two different stories about a young man and a young woman whose parents e not approved. The orchestra played excerpts from each work, after which the children were invited to express their opinions. In order to stimulate their creativity and curiosity. After this question and answer period, the conductor told the young audience to listen carefully to both opuses as they played them. When finished, the children were invited to respond using a microphone. After this session the orchestra played Berliozâ€™s â€œRomeo alone and Feast the Capuletsâ€ from Romeo and Juliet and Verdiâ€™s Prelude to La Traviata.
To conclude the performance, the BSO used a video screen on which was projected an old movie scene about a man and a woman who were arguing with each other. The conductor announced to the children that they were going to play a piece that had a lot of questions and answers as in the old movie then began playing the first movement of Beethovenâ€™s Symphony No. 5, in synchrony with the film. The children seemed to enjoy this a great deal and amused.
The Children receives a general exposure to the experience of listening to an orchestra in Symphony Hall. This seems an important first step for them to realize that they belong there too.