Vivaldi at Dewey

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St. Louis Symphony Director of Education Berakiah Boone brought six Symphony string players to perform Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons for second graders at Dewey Elementary on Tuesday. Violinists Ann Fink, Xiaoxiao Qiang and Eva Kozma, violist Chris Tantillo, cellist Alvin McCall and bassist Dave DeRiso played for an exuberant audience. Do second graders get Vivaldi? They bobbed their heads to the beat, they danced in their seats to the rhythms, they recognized shifts in tempo and knew what “tempo” means. I barely got “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” when as was in second grade.

In the words of one student, when it was all over: “That was good!”

Berakiah Boone with members of the St. Louis Symphony strings at Dewey Elementary.
Berakiah Boone (center) with members of the St. Louis Symphony strings at Dewey Elementary.

Forces of Nature

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With St. Louis experiencing the forces of early winter this week, the Symphony welcomed a few thousand schoolchildren to learn how composers have used nature as inspiration: storms, rivers, the power of a sunrise, the power of the Earth itself, and the grandeur of outer space.

002The students received a welcome via the big screen at Powell Hall.

004These students enjoyed some good seats.

005The orchestra was conducted by Joseph Young.

012Will James got intense with a triangle.

013A swan flows along the Moldau.

022Angie Smart brings on the storm in Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons.

027A volcano explodes to the sounds of Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance.

031Thanks to the Saint Louis Science Center, John Williams’ Star Wars theme included fantastic images of our solar system, including a flyby of Saturn.

036Lovely usher Rita Hoguet comes to the front of the stage to guide schoolchildren, teachers and chaperones to their buses.

039How was the show? Multiple thumbs up!

043Joseph Young is in the house! The conductor goes into the audience and gives high fives and says thank you to everybody.

Big kudos to Symphony Director of Education Berakiah Boone for helping to let the forces of nature be for everyone.

Bee Meets Butterfly

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The first Family Concert of the season, Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo, was about a lot of things–animals, how music makes animal sounds, how animals make musical sounds–but it was largely about fun.

FC ZooThe Symphony partnered with the Saint Louis Zoo for this show, which–among many other things–brought a bee to meet children in the foyer.

Everyone had a bee-utiful time. Great big kudos go to Director of Education Berakiah Boone for making a whole lot happen and keeping it all fun.