Introduce your child to music at Philharmonic concert

  • Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 2:27pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

There’s “Star Wars” and the “Stars and Stripes.” Storybook favorites such as “Peter and the Wolf” and “Hansel and Gretel.” And for classical purists, there’s even a little Beethoven — well, seven minutes anyway.

“Music for the Imagination” is a mixed bag of classical and pop culture delights. And the best part is kids are not only welcome, they are the reason for this family-friendly classical concert.

“Most importantly, I want to expose the younger people to the orchestra, to give them an idea what is there for them, what they can play,” Paul-Elliott Cobbs said.

Cobbs is music director and conductor of the Everett Philharmonic, which is presenting its second concert of the season on Sunday.

And to help emphasize that orchestra experience, children and their parents can stay after the concert for a “Meet the Instruments” session. Youngsters will be able to get up close as the Everett Phil musicians demonstrate the various violins, horns and drums. Some hands-on activities will be offered.

During the concert, kids might have something to say about the instruments as well. That’s OK too, Cobbs said.

“They are going to verbalize to their parents and that’s just fine,” Cobbs said. “We want them to be excited. We don’t stifle that and I guarantee the orchestra can play louder. If the kids are talking and I know they will, what they are doing is showing excitement for what’s going on.”

Children in the audience will certainly relate when they see members of the Everett Youth Symphony open the concert with Arturo Marquez’ exotic and energetic “Danzon No 2.”

Then, the Everett Philharmonic will take the stage and perform Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel Overture” with the stirring “Witch’s Ride.”

“It’s actually a little scary and they get to hear that,” Cobbs said.

Hannah Kim, winner of the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition, then plays the seven-minute rousing Rondo movement of Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.”

After intermission, the orchestra presents a narrated version of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” introducing the sounds of the instruments as characters in the story.

Then, selected members of the Everett Youth Symphony join the orchestra to travel to a galaxy far, far away to play John Williams’ “Star Wars” theme.

The concert ends with William Sibbers, the winner of the 2011 Gala Spring Fling contest, on stage conducting “Stars and Stripes.”

In underscoring that this concert is family friendly, Cobbs said the Everett Philharmonic website has tips for families who might never have attended a symphony concert before. The tips, under “How to Prepare for Your First Concert” include audience etiquette, composers’ biographies and video recordings.

“The concert is not only for the young,” said Cobbs. “Adults will get a kick out of identifying the sounds and dreaming up their own tales as well.”

“Music for the Imagination” starts at 3 p.m. Sunday (doors open at 2:15 p.m.) at Everett Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave., Everett.

Tickets are $40 for a family of four; $20 for individual tickets. For the best value, gather a few friends and make your own family-for-a-day. Festival seating. For tickets or more information go to or call 206-270-9729.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;