October 7, 2013

Michael Butterman on Orchestra Games

The RPO's OrKIDStra Family Series starts this Sunday with Orchestra Games, a fun and engaging concert with an Olympics theme. Read below for a little pregame analysis from Michael Butterman, RPO Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach.

Hello OrKIDStra Families!

Even though it feels more like summer, the fall is here, and with it another RPO season. We're excited to bring you the first of this season's OrKIDStra concerts this coming Sunday, October 13, at 2 PM at Hochstein. We're calling the concert "Orchestra Games," and it features a fun, narrated piece by the same name, as well as great music by Verdi, Bartók, and John Williams. 

You may not realize that it's nearly upon us, but early in 2014, the world will be focused on a brand new Olympic competition in Sochi, Russia. Our concert will help get you into the competitive, sporting mood as we put all the instruments in the orchestra through a series of "events" meant to test their pitch, volume, endurance, agility--you name it. Before we get to the competition, we'll "warm up" with some Bartók, which will get us paying attention to speeds (tempos), as well as highs and lows and which instruments produce them. We'll also play some Verdi, which will prep our listening ears to focus on louds and softs (dynamics) as we hear the powerful brass and gentle strings sometimes engaging in a little "role reversal."

Then come the games. Gregory Smith is a brilliant composer whose "Mr. Smith's Composition" we performed a few years ago. He's back with another work that playfully examines the instruments of the orchestra in an ingenious fashion, all hosted by our play-by play commentator, narrator Sam Krall. Be prepared to cheer for your favorites as we bring you right into the action!

Of course we'll have activities for the kids starting at 1PM in the lobby, so feel free to come early and enjoy. It promises to be a great kickoff to our slate of concerts, and, as always, a great way to introduce young people to the symphony orchestra and the magic of live music. No matter what your age, though, there's great fun to be had at the OrKIDStra concerts and we'll look forward to seeing you there this coming weekend.

See you at Hochstein!
Michael Butterman, Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach