The Utah Symphony has brilliantly branded what they do as “classically charged.” They want you to see what they do as energetic, exciting, and new. But sometimes symphonic music is charged with being either boring (when it comes to the old, fuddy duddy stuff), or inaccessible (when it comes to new music that has no distinguishable melody). So how do you communicate music to an audience that might not understand it? How do you get families and children to engage with symphonic music? Make it about animals, of course! Oh, and play a movie in the background.
On March 21st, the Utah Symphony will perform Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” on the big stage while the Oscar-winning animated film Peter & the Wolf (2006) plays on the big screen.
In 1936, Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow to write a musical symphony for children. The intent was to cultivate “musical tastes in children from the first years of school”. Prokofiev was so intrigued by the idea that he quickly went to work and completed Peter and the Wolf in just four days.
Some of us are old enough to remember listening to the record of Peter and the Wolf as a child, following along with the story and paying attention to which musical theme belonged to each animal introduced in the story. Also on the program (in the spirit of animals) is Daniel Dorff’s Three Fun Fables, which is a suite of humorous Aesop tales: The Fox and the Crow, The Dog and his Reflection, and The Tortoise and the Hare.
If you want to cultivate musical tastes in your children, this would be an excellent introduction for them into the symphonic world. And, to encourage their interest in the music, The Utah Symphony Youth Guild and Summerhays Music will be offering an “instrument petting zoo” in the lobby before and after the concerts.
Saturday, March 21
11 AM & 12:30 AM
Tickets: $6 – $14
Laura Durham works for KUED Channel-7 in the Creative Services Department, curating community engagement projects for both PBS and KUED productions that foster trust and value to the communities in Utah. She also produces Contact with Mary Dickson and Contact in the Community — a digital series featuring arts and culture groups in Utah. Prior to her work at KUED, Laura spent 15 years at the Utah Division of Arts & Museums in the visual arts program and later managing communications, branding, marketing, and public value projects for all arts and museums programming. She has served the Utah community in various capacities with her role as Vice President of the Salt Lake Gallery Association and Program Director for the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. She lives in Salt Lake City, sings with Utah Chamber Artists, and loves to contribute to 15 Bytes as often as time allows.