Monday, January 21, 2008 ;
6:34 AM
Jan 19

We went for a family concert with the SL Symphony.

Title: The Musical Menagerie
(all about animals)

Narrator: Roland Steadham (who read poetry and made funny comments throughout)

Piano duo: Lu Ning and Lu Jie (bro sis combo)

Venue: Libby Gardner Concert Hall (at U of U)

Music director/ conductor: Robert Baldwin

This will be our last concert. There is another Utah Symphony lollipops concert with insturment petting zoo that we loved a lot last year, but it is at the end of March, by which time we'd be in Tianjin already. So we'll miss that.

Once again they had a good program line up and it was great fun. Kids were suitably engaged throughout, and we also saw many babes in arms. We sat in the 6th row, center. It was free seating so we went early and got good seats. For kids that is important, because their attention is better held when they can see the players up close, where all the action is.

Before the concert:

Concert program:

1. Creatures of Prometheus by Beethoven.

2. Themes from "Jurassic Park" by John Williams, arranged by Calvin Custer.

3. Musical animals (just challenges thrown by the narrator to the orchestra)

He'll name an animal and a player or a few will try and mimick the sound of that animal. Some animal sounds played were horses, bears, dogs, birds and horses on a hot summer afternoon.

4. Carnival of the animals by Saint-Saens (all the 14 parts)

The piano duo were good. Full of expression. The narrator will read poetry at appropriate parts, related to the animals. Some were really hilarious (the rhymes he read).

5. The Waltzing Cat by Leroy Anderson

The percussionists did the vocal "meowing" parts throughout the piece. This had an audience interactive segment where we had to bark loudly like a dog when the conductor turned and pointed at us. After the dogs (us) barked, the cats were in a frenzy (the orchestra). It was fun.
The violinists did a good job mimicking the cat purrs and snarls too (not vocal, using instruments, haha).

6. Disney's The Lion King Orchestral Suite (music: Elton John, score: Hans Zimmer, arr: Brad Kelley).

I enjoyed the Prometheus, Carnival and Waltzing Cat best. The kids like Jurassic Park (because it really sounded like dinosaurs were roaming the concert hall). In fact, the Utah Museum of Natural History is just opposite the Gardner Hall, so the conductor joked that when the Utah raptors (in the nat hist museum) hear the music, they'll come and join in the fun too.

I have the Carnival CD at home, and the kids already have their usual favorites. They have always not liked Tortoises very much, because they find it too slow. They like the Lion, Elephant and Characters with Long Ears (due to the hee-haws). My fav is The Swan, because it is just so lovely, but I also like the finale and the pianists (funny). I like the Fossils in the CD but they didn't play it that well yesterday.

The audience seemed to love the Waltzing Cat. Everyone laughed to see the percussionists "meowing" together.

After the concert, we went on stage for dh to meet up with his friends. He stopped playing with them a month ago already, in view of our impending departure. And both ds went to play with the percussion. Ds1 met up with his drums teacher and they played awhile on the timpanis together. His drum teacher is the principal percussionist, and does the timpani most of the time.

We'll miss his drum teacher. He was very nice and patient with ds1. We called it the last lesson last week already, because we're getting very busy touring Utah and packing up. We have 2 trips coming up soon, a road trip to St George and Zion National Park, and then the Mexico trip.

On the way home, I took a pic of the State Capitol Building. Should've done so in summer when the skies are so blue. But I don't have anymore summers here. :-(

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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