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Bienen School Kids Fare Concert Sparks Interest in Music

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December 30, 2009 | by Judy Moore
Video by Hess Productions
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Alice Millar Chapel choir, the University's Symphonic Band, and a guest ensemble performance of "Carnival of the Animals" by the Merit School Symphony Orchestra are among the upcoming Kids Fare programs in the Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music's 2009-10 season.  

Each hourlong Kids Fare program is designed to capture the interest of children aged 3 to 8, as well as their family members. The concerts are intended to spark a child's creativity and provide tools for enjoying, understanding and making music. Led by Northwestern faculty members, guest artists and undergraduate or graduate students, they provide opportunities for children to learn about artists and the arts in a comfortable and fun environment.

The winter and spring events listed below are open to the public and begin at 10:30 a.m. They will be held on Northwestern's Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive or Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, as noted.

Jan. 9, the "Powerful Pipes at Alice Millar Chapel" concert will feature the Alice Millar Chapel Choir and soloists, conductor and organist Stephen Alltop and organist Margaret Wilson. It will highlight the variety of sounds of the human voice and the newly renovated 100-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ, one of the largest in the Chicago area. Works will include Rosephanye Powell's "Wait on the Lord"; Mack Wilberg's arrangement of the English carol "Ding Dong, Merrily on High!"; J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor; Aaron Copland's "I Bought Me a Cat"; and Rollo Dillworth's "Freedom Train." It also will include a demonstration of the organ and provide opportunities for audience participation.  

Jan. 30, Ryan T. Nelson, associate director of Northwestern's bands, will conduct the Symphonic Band in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall during the "Banding Together" program. The performance will feature brass, reeds and percussion instruments performing fanfares, songs and marches representing the American West.

March 6, Robert G. Hasty, Bienen School associate director of orchestras, will conduct Chicago's Merit School Symphony Orchestra in a performance of "Carnival of the Animals" in Pick-Staiger. The 14-movement suite, depicting a colorful menagerie of animals, is one of French composer Camille Saint-Saens' most popular works and a favorite with young audiences. It will be narrated by Merit School President Duffie A. Adelson. The concert also will feature an overture, a brass choir and introductions to the instruments of the orchestra.
Founded in 1979, the Merit School of Music provides high-quality music instruction to students regardless of their ability to pay. Its faculty teach more than 6,000 students each year, from infants through adults. The school provides nearly $3 million in financial support so that all motivated students can participate.  

April 24, the "Percolating Percussion" program at Pick-Staiger will expose young audience members to a diverse family of percussion instruments and a variety of energetic musical styles. The program will be performed by graduate student members of Northwestern's award-winning Percussion Ensemble.

The 2009-10 Kids Fare series will conclude May 1 with "Ivories, Buttons and Such" at Pick-Staiger. The concert will celebrate many different keyboard instruments, including pianos, accordions, concertinas and melodeons, in a kaleidoscopic blend of music, dance and song.

Tickets for each of the Kids Fare concerts are $6 for the general public, $5 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and staff, and $4 for children.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site at www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit the website and buy online.

Topics: Campus Life