The Breckenridge Music Festival will present a free Orchestra Series Family Concert titled “Inside the Orchestra” tonight at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
“Inside the Orchestra” is a program created by conductor Thomas Jensen in 1986 for what was then the Junior Symphony Guild in Denver. Jensen will lead the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra in an interactive performance that invites children to move and respond to orchestral selections from a unique vantage point — inside the orchestra.
The seating arrangement allows for 450 to 500 people to be seated on the floor in the middle of the venue with the orchestra arranged in a circle around them for the hour-long concert.
“Kids and grown-ups can not only look at the orchestra and hear what it sounds like but also learn what it feels like to be inside the orchestra,” Jensen said. “There’s not a bad seat in the house.”
He promised “the kind of infectious music that even if you don’t know it, you know it,” with a range of activities including “theater of the mind bits where you give the audience something to act out and do or conceptualize.”
For example, listening to the first few seconds of a tone poem by Richard Strauss, kids and families will be invited to get down on floor and slowly grow until they are on their knees and then stand in a crouched position and slowly straighten their backs to reach for the sky — all to the sounds of the music.
Jensen will liken Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” to getting a “‘time out’ — “two words that strike fear into the hearts of kids,” he said. The music starts out serious and then turns happy, as if you’re “bouncing a ball in the middle of the street,” which of course is why you’re on time out in the first place, Jensen said.
Afterward, the music becomes serious again.
“Everything has to have some kind of thing that kids can relate to,” he said.