The National Repertory Orchestra will present a concert especially for children, “Imagination Express,” today at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center.
The repertoire chosen for this concert is accessible for children of all ages, with music depicting animals, dancing and even the Olympic theme from the 1996 Atlanta games. This concert is part of the Riverwalk Center’s Kids’ Concert series, the town of Breckenridge’s affordable concert series for young people and families. After the concert, children can explore an Instrument Petting Zoo, where the musicians of the NRO present kid-sized versions of their own instruments for the kids (and their parents) to try.
Led by maestro Nicholas Hersh, this lively NRO concert will feature a solo performance by Jonathan Xu on piano. Colorful, captivating and kid-friendly works will be presented, including “Summon the Heroes” by John Williams, Allegro from Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major, K. 413 by W.A. Mozart, “Conga Del Fuego Nuevo” by Arturo Marquez and selections from Bruce Adolphe’s “Carnival of the Creatures,” narrated by Carl Topilow.
Wacky animals such as the Pterosaur and the Mudskipper are depicted in Adolphe’s “Carnival of the Creatures,” which will delight children with sounds of all kinds coming from the orchestra. Topilow, the National Repertory Orchestra’s music director and conductor, will put down his baton and pick up a microphone to tell us about The Iguana, Shrimp, Spider, Shark, Unicorn and even The Virus while the orchestra plays along.
“You will have to decide if The Virus is really a creature at all,” said Douglas Adams, CEO of the National Repertory Orchestra. “That’s one of the great things about music: It makes us feel — and think.”
“Carnival of the Creatures combines vivid musical imagery, fantastical mystique and quirky humor, all within Adolphe’s unique yet accessible modern style,” Hersh said. “It’s a positively brilliant ‘sequel’ to Saint-Saens’ beloved ‘Carnival of the Animals,’ and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share it with NRO and the Breckenridge community.”
While the “Carnival of the Creatures” narration will help children to connect animals to the instruments that can mimic the specific sounds they make, Williams’ “Summon the Heroes” will introduce children to the brass and percussion instruments used in heroic fanfares in the likes of superhero movies. “Summon the Heroes” was the theme song for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and will be almost instantly recognizable to the adult ears in the audience. “Conga Del Fuego Nuevo” will fill the children’s ears with Latin American rhythms as the fiery piece introduces them to music of other cultures.
Pediatric Dental Group of Summit County, Colorado Mountain Express and Vail Resorts Echo are sponsoring the concert. For more information on the music, composers, director and soloist, visit www.nromusic.com.
Amy Skjerseth is the marketing and public relations intern with the National Repertory Orchestra.