On Thursday, April 15, at 1:00 p.m. the Helena Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual Youth Concert for thousands of grade students from dozens of elementary schools throughout the State of Montana. In addition to the donations from schools, the Symphony is grateful for the generous support from the Helena School District, the Helena Music Teachers Association, Montana Credit Union Network, AARP Montana, Sky Federal Credit Union, Lincoln County Credit Union, and Whitefish Credit Union. “For many students, this will be their first opportunity to experience a live performance of classical music,” explains Director of Patron Services Scott Kall.
Students participate virtually as part of the Symphony’s HomeStream Your Helena Symphony presented by AARP Montana and will experience the Symphony through an orchestral courtroom comedy for young audiences based on the characters, events, and music of the symphonic fairy tale Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. Based on the well-known story, this new twist begins immediately after the Wolf eats the Duck. Set in a court room, the Wolf is on trial, and complete with several professional actors, the story of Peter vs. The Wolf recounts the famous story while introducing the elements of music and the orchestra to the students. Helena actors Mēghan Scott, Jay Bahny, Katy Wright, and Boston Lybbert will appear as the principal actors as the District Attorney, the Judge, Peter, and the Wolf respectively.
“From actors, costumes, lighting, and the orchestra musicians, this is a wonderfully educational, fun, and entertaining concert for students and we are thrilled to continue the Symphony’s educational efforts,” explains Music Director Allan R. Scott.
The annual Youth Concert is completely focused on the music education of thousands of students from several school districts, including school districts in rural communities with hundreds of underserved children. “The focus of this project serves not only the music education of the students in several communities, but the project provides the much-needed life lessons through the arts, self-expression, and how arts and education are intrinsically linked,” explains Symphony Education Coordinator Barb Berg. “The programs are designed specifically for the music education of fourth and fifth graders. The Youth Concert also seeks to make a lasting impact on the fourth and fifth grade students before they enter middle school, where they hopefully will participate in orchestra, band, or chorus. In many ways, this concert is one of the last experiences the fourth and fifth graders will have before deciding to take up an instrument.”
“The evidence is clear,” explains Maestro Scott, “that a child who plays an instrument is not merely a well-rounded individual, but a person that learns self-confidence, self-expression, and embraces a value system which understands the importance of music and the arts as they progress through life. With the help of so many generous organizations, schools, and individuals, the Helena Symphony can ensure we continue to help raise the children in our community. This is so much more than a concert.”
The children (or their parents) can download an activity book for the concert at https://www.helenasymphony.org/youth. This will allow them to interact and enjoy up-close and personal performances meant to enrich and enhance music education in the Helena area.
HomeStream Your Helena Symphony presented by AARP Montana
The Helena Symphony is especially grateful to AARP Montana, who secured the naming rights to the new HomeStream Your Helena Symphony. “AARP Montana is so excited to help bring the artistic excellence of the Helena Symphony’s music-making to people in the safety of their homes,” says Tim Summers, State Director of AARP Montana. The live stream concert can be accessed by participating schools through the private link they received.
The Youth Concert is sponsored by generous support from AARP Montana, the Helena Music Teacher Association, Helena Public Schools, Montana Credit Union Network, Sky Federal Credit Union, Lincoln County Credit Union, and Whitefish Credit Union.