St Albans Symphony Orchestra ready for children’s concert

FANCY dress is the preferred order of the day for the annual St Albans Symphony Orchestra (SASO) children’s concerts later this month.

SASO is inviting little monsters and young party animals to experience the large-as-life sounds of a symphony orchestra in full cry at either 2pm or 3.30pm on Sunday, November 20, at St Saviour’s Church in Sandpit Lane.

The music includes such ‘monster’ hits as Mussorgsky’s wild musical party for wizards, witches and ghosts in his Night on the Bare Mountain and some dastardly fiddle-playing in the Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens.

To add to the juvenile involvement, children in the audience are invited to meet the musicians during the concert interval and try out their instruments.

Bjorn Bantock, who will be taking charge of his first children’s concert in St Albans since becoming the orchestra’s principal conductor a year ago, plans to bring his own sons, Neo and Finn, to join in the fun.

Bjorn said: “There’s going to be a real party atmosphere – especially if we can persuade as many children as possible to join the orchestra in taking part in fancy dress. The kids can choose to look as beautiful, magical, dashing or downright scary as they want – or just decide to come as themselves!

“The short pieces we will be playing include some terrific tunes and orchestral effects. They make an ideal way to introduce children to classical music. We want the children to experience all sorts of fantastic, exciting sounds and go away thinking that playing an instrument in this kind of music is a really cool thing for them to do.”

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Other works in the programme include favourite music from Bizet’s gypsy opera Carmen, rumbustious dances from the ballet Spartacus by Khachaturian, excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourful Capriccio Espagnol and – on a quieter note – Massenet’s Meditation solo for violin by, played by the orchestra’s leader, Jennifer Wigram.

Tickets at �1 for children and �5 for accompanying grown-ups are available from the SASO Ticket Secretary on 01727 857422 or on the door.