By Julia Willers, Age 12 years
My mother plays in an orchestra called the Royal Orchestral Society, an orchestra for amateur musicians. The orchestra performed a concert aimed at children in St. Mary’s Church in Stoke Newington, London.
The turnout was very large; the majority of the audience being young children whose parents wanted them to be involved in classical music. I was surprised at the amount of people coming to the concert on a sunny Sunday afternoon; I knew a lot of the families too!
Firstly, the orchestra played the overture to Il Singor Bruschino, an opera by Rossini, and then came Mozart’s fourth Horn Concerto with an amazing soloist. And finally, they played the ‘pudding’, Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’. The whole concert was welcoming to us as children. What with the horn soloist playing a few snippets from pieces everyone knew, such as the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings themes, and the chairman of the orchestra getting all the children involved in clapping parts of the overture together.
In the overture, it was clear that the audience was fully concentrated, yet watching the small children clapping at the right time happily was very nice to see! It was an entertaining idea of the orchestra to get everyone involved! After the overture, the conductor, Orlando Jopling, welcomed the Spanish horn student on stage.
Listening to the horn concerto, I marvelled at the way the notes just flowed out of the instrument, creating a warm glow in the church. It was very nice having Francisco Gomez
play the couple of extra pieces; for some young boys that was the highlight of the concert! As my brother also plays the French horn, I know how hard it is to reach the high notes that the professional hit with ease, so it was truly amazing to hear the wonderful sound he created.
During ‘Peter and the Wolf’, all the animals were represented by instruments, in this case the cat was represented by the clarinet, the bird by the flute, Peter by the whole string section, the duck by the oboe, the granddad by the bassoon, the scary wolf by the French horns, and the hunters by the brass and percussion sections. The music was played fantastically, and the narrator (Thomas Arnold) narrated very well too! Everybody understood what was going on, and it was funny to watch how the little girls hugged their mums as the wolf chased and swallowed the duck!
I think that most people enjoyed ‘Peter and the Wolf’ the most, as this piece of music had a real storyline to it and so the little ones knew what was going on! Once the actual concert was over, all the children rushed to the stage to try out the instruments. Soon a cacophony of clarinet squeaks and violin scratches rang out; quite funny!
What is the last concert you enjoyed?