St Albans Symphony Orchestra has the whole world on its hands

A WHIRLWIND musical tour around the world is being offered to children by St Albans Symphony Orchestra (SASO) on Sunday. (11)

Around the World in 80 Minutes will take children from the freezing forests in Finland to the heat-drenched plains of Africa in two concerts at Marlborough School in Watling Street.

The international theme of this year’s SASO children’s concert will feature music from film favourite The Lion King alongside such colourful classics as Finlandia by Sibelius, national dances from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet and Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King.

The famous march from Star Wars provides a detour into outer space before a safe landing with Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar.

Children’s author and illustrator Steve Weatherill – creator of Goz, the baby goose – will add an extra dimension by creating live drawings inspired by the different countries and themes projected on to a big screen.

Youngsters coming to the concert are encouraged to play an active party by dressing up as their favourite country and meeting the musicians during the interval to try out their instruments. As usual, members of the orchestra will be wearing fancy dress too.

The concert has two performances, one at 2pm and the other at 4pm, and in recent weeks the orchestra’s leader, violinist Jenny Wigram, and other players have been visiting local primary schools to give children a taste of the musical journey in store for them.

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James Ross, who will be conducting his last children’s concert after nine years with the orchestra, said: “These concerts are always huge fun and a great way to introduce children to some marvellous tuneful music. It has been a special pleasure to present them - and the volume of sound when children try the different instruments is simply unforgettable.”

Tickets at �1 for accompanied children and �10 for adults, are available from SASO ticket secretary on 01727 857422 or on the door.