by Camilla Andersson, staff writer
| On Oct. 17 the symphony hosts its first youth
concert at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall, inviting schools
to participate in a fun and educational musical experience.
The goal is to give children an appreciation of music. Performances
range from concerts for “Tiny Tots” and all the way
up to 6th grade. This year’s theme is “The Composers
Toolbox: Music can tell a story.” The focus is on three
big words; tempo, dynamics and timbre.
The symphony plays the same pieces for all the different age
groups, and the conductor guides the children to an understanding
of the music.
The conductor doesn’t just walk out, have the orchestra
play the music, and that’s it,” says Norma Chun from
the Symphony Education Department. “We want the kids to
have a consummating experience.”
Before the kids get to Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall, they receive
preparation materials from the symphony staff. The preparation
materials include information about composers and the different
instrument families. A CD is included to provide a taste of what
the experience will be like. There is also a song that the children
can learn and sing along with the orchestra.
The symphony doesn’t just offer youth concerts at the Neal
Blaisdell Concert Hall; it also visits schools with ensembles
so that the kids can get an up-close relationship with the musicians.
Participating is also a huge part of the Honolulu Symphony’s
partnership program with Carnegie Hall. That program is called “Link
up!” and all the children who participate get a flute,
CD and book. They practice in school and when it’s time
to come and visit the symphony, they all play together.
Chun, who has been a teacher herself for many years, remembers
going to youth concerts with her students back in the 1960s. “Back
then there were student soloists playing with the orchestra,” she
recalled. “Some of them actually have their own music studios
This is the ultimate goal for the youth program— to get
more kids interested and knowledgeable about music and to continue
their musical studies. The symphony has the potential of reaching
over 50,000 students with their concerts and according to Chun, “it’s
just a matter of schools to sign up.”
HPU students who want to do volunteer work with the Honolulu
Symphony Orchestra should contact Kristin Jackson at 524- 0815