Monday, April 26, 2010

Symphonic Animal Sounds

Outside our windows is a good-sized pond, fields, a farm and the woods. We are surrounded by animal sounds night and day. I actually forget how loud some of them are until we have company and they stop short, mid-sentence to wonder at the incredible cacophony from behind the house. They usually look to us with wondering eyes until we explain the mysterious sound with one word - geese.

This weekend, however, we took the animal noises one step further - we attended a performance by the BSO at the Meyerhoff that was all about animals - Carnival of the Animals. It was a wonderful experience. Before the performance, children could get their faces painted, create a paper animal mask, visit with birds from the Maryland Zoo (we saw Candy Crane for the second time this week - she had been at our local library on Wednesday), and visit with some of the musicians to take a sneak peak at the instruments that create the "animal sounds." During the performance, before each piece the narrator explained what we would be hearing. While the symphony played brief pieces of music inspired by different animals, puppeteers acted out that animal in a very imaginative way. Our whole family was delighted, including my five-year-old who can be hard to please in loud, crowded places. We each had our favorite puppet act and piece of music, but I think in general the audience had the most fun with the final performance - "Finale" from the William Tell Overture by Gioacchino Rossini. This had babies bouncing, the audience clapping, and children pretending to ride horses and ponies in their seats.

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