Monday, 30 June 2008

Sydney Youth Orchestra – 2008 Winter Family Concert

image courtesy of SYO
On Saturday I gathered my family together for an afternoon of culture at the Conservatorium of Music for the Sydney Youth Orchestra Winter Family Concert. The afternoon started well as the building looks like a castle and castles are big in our house at the moment. It continued to go well as the boys (3 & 5) proudly clutched their tickets and headed for their seats. Fortunately we were in the back row so the squirming of the three year old didn’t disturb anyone’s viewing.

The first band arrived and played two movements of a symphony. (I apologise for my lack of details but between the tickets, the castle and the trips to the toilet I neglected to pick up a programme). My boys were rapt. My partner and I held hands and felt proud to be exposing our children to such wonders. The band finished. We all clapped. They left and another arrived. This one was predominantly violins and they proceeded to play charmingly. My eyes were drawn to the little ones whose toes couldn’t reach the floor. They finished. We all clapped again.

The second band left and the third arrived. This was too much for my three year old. He took his father outside to play castles while my older son and I continued to watch.

The fourth band was a real band, lots of brass and very loud. Too loud for my sensitive five year old who began covering his ears and asking when we could leave. We left at intermission.

In the postmortem discussion it was suggested that it’s probably better to expose children to music by getting them doing it rather than watching it but I thought it would be exciting for them to see young people playing a variety of instruments. And I think it was. For a little while.

The concert was a fairly casual affair and it was perfectly acceptable to leave between orchestras so I did not leave feeling we were badly behaved but instead that we gave it a good try.

I think youth orchestras are always worth a listen. The quality of performance is usually high and the music is often approached in a more lighthearted manner. Sydney Youth Orchestra Family concerts are an inexpensive and casual way to introduce your children to orchestral music and I recommend you also give it a try. Particularly if your children are over five or like castles.

Upcoming SYO performances
Sunday 13 September 2008 at 3pmVerbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium
Presented by Sydney Youth Orchestras
Tickets Adult $22 Concession $12 Family $58 (2 adults and 2 concessions)
Bookings City Recital Hall Angel PlaceBook online here or call 8256 2222

Toddler Proms
Sunday 16th November 2008 9:30AM
Sydney's best orchestral experience for young people aged 2-7!
$9 (groups of 4 or more)Under 2s admitted free of charge
Bookings City Recital Hall Angel Place Book online here or call 8256 2222

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