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New Haven Symphony Makes Music At Free Family Concerts In Shelton

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra begins each concert with an instrument discovery zone for children. Photo Credit: Contributed photo
A recent New Haven Symphony Orchestra concert in Shelton. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

SHELTON, Conn. — Think your little ones are too lively to attend a classical concert?

Guess again, said Caitlin Daly, education director for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, which will kick off its free 2016 Family Concert Series at Shelton Intermediate School on Jan. 10.

“There’s some space up front, and I’d love it if the kids sit there and color along while they’re listening to the music,” she said. “If they would like to dance, that would be great!”

Since its debut in 2010, the family series has been a welcoming space that allows children to get involved with the music.

The afternoon starts at 1:30 with a half-hour instrument discovery zone that offers children the chance to hold and play instruments that they will hear in the day’s 2 p.m. concert. After the hourlong concert, children enjoy a healthy snack.

The performances are geared to children ages 3 to 9, but Daly said no one will be turned away.

This year’s series begins Sunday, Jan. 10 with “Tubby the Tuba,” which highlights the orchestra’s brass section. The concert opens with the invigorating dance rhythms from Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango.” Local storyteller Tom Lee will narrate "Tubby the Tuba." The concert is rounded out by two traditional pieces – “Three Georgian Folk Songs” and the Austrian lullaby “Still, Still, Still.”

As always, children are encouraged to wear their pjs and bring along a beloved stuffed animal for this “musical pajama party.”

Next up on Sunday, Feb. 7, is “Ferdinand the Bull,” which features the string family. The concert begins with the melody from Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty.” Connecticut soprano Ann Rhodes narrates the beloved childhood tale of "Ferdinand the Bull" before singing a selection from Aaron Copland’s “Old American Songs.” The concert ends with a short medley from Robert Schumann’s “Album for the Young.”

The final concert, “Peter and the Wolf,” takes place on Sunday, March 6, and features the woodwinds with French composer Jacques Ibert’s lively “Trois Pieces Breves.” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Paul Dukas’ popular contribution to Disney’s “Fantastia,” makes an appearance, followed by Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Professional storyteller Michael Boudewyns will act out the cherished work. Familiar themes from “Harry Potter” and “The Simpsons” end the concert.

Visit the NHSO website for more information.

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