At the beginning of each new year, the Symphony of Southeast Texas hosts a Youth Concert. This year’s theme is ‘Hybrid Music’. Maestro Chelsea Tipton greeted the audience in his usual enthusiastic style, in ‘hybrid fashion’ – a formal tuxedo shirt, bowtie and coat with tails, and a casual bottom: cargo shorts and tennis shoes, so he could move around and not get too warm on stage.
We started this morning’s performance with Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town: Three Dance Episodes [Times Squere 1944]. We were introduced to the saxophone, and its relatively young history as an instrument compared to the other instruments. Maestro Tipton talked about jazz being a uniquely American style of music and how much the composers of the day wanted to convey the action or feelings or images that they saw around them in their music.
Then he talked about summer – what we see and do, how it feels – which led into Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Summer featuring guest violinist, and 9th grade student, Karen Ji. We first saw Miss. Ji perform a few months ago at the Side-By-Side concert, and it was lovely to hear her perform again.
After Vivaldi, Maestro Tipton invited Lamar professor Lou Arrington to the stage to talk about movement; specifically, how music and dance work together. She demonstrated a tango step for us, and then Maestro Tipton led the orchestra in a tango number (complete with surprise dancers). In line with today’s concert theme, we then heard SUMMER – The 4 Seasons of Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla, which features samples from Vivaldi’s ‘Summer’ remixed with a tango rhythm.
The final performance was a fusion that many of the adults in the audience remember from years ago – the theme song from The Flintsones Meet The Jestsons movie. It’s always fun to hear music that brings back memories!
If you’re looking for resources to coordinate with this music, here are some that you might find useful:
- Leonard Bernstein Notebooking page from Homeschool Helper Online.com
- Vivaldi_Notebooking Page_by Amanda McCoy
- Vivaldi Bio page from Baroque Music.org
- Classical Music & Composer Lapbook from Squidoo.com
- Making Music Fun.net’s Great_Composer_worksheets
- Astor Piazzolla’s Bio page from Piazzolla.org