Arts & Culture Community Schools / Kids

South Orange Symphony Presents Free Family Concert at SOMS Feb. 12

The following is from South Orange Symphony

S. O. Symphony in Rehearsal
South Orange Symphony

Looking for a family-friendly way to introduce your children to live orchestral music? Come to the South Orange Symphony’s annual Free Fun Family Concert this coming Sunday, February 12 at 3 pm at the South Orange Middle School. Admission is free.

“This is an ideal program for first-time concert-goers as well as for the orchestra,” says conductor Susan Haig of Summit. “These masterpieces by Strauss, Bizet, Humperdinck, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, and John Williams convey emotion and high drama, and there is room for kids to move around if they’re inspired to dance!”

During the intermission K&S Music from Berkeley Heights will provide an “Instrument Petting Zoo” where children (and adults) can look at and play orchestral instruments and maybe even get short hands-on lessons from some of the musicians. In the lobby, the 7th annual Silent Auction Fundraiser has everything from home-baked pies to classy jewelry and gift baskets on offer to the highest bidder, as well as plenty of knick-knacks that could be the perfect gift for those already-have-everything people.

Lori Mirabal, soprano, will make a special appearance as Carmen.

The concert opens with the rousing Radetzky March by Johann Strauss, then moves onto two selections from Georges Bizet’s spirited Carmen Suites. Soprano Lori Mirabal, Maplewood resident and international opera singer, will make a special guest appearance as Carmen, performing Bizet’s famous, sultry Habañera.

The orchestra next plays the Prelude to Hansel and Gretel from the opera version of the well-known fairy tale by Engelbert Humperdinck, a late 19-century composer. The first half of the concert finishes with selections from the Finale of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, with its energetic Russian folk music roots.

Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in d minor for two violins and cello features Concertmaster Robert Radliff, Principal Second Violinist Aurora Mendez, and Principal Cellist Douglas Hardin.  The second half of the concert continues with selections from the John Williams’ Star Wars movie score including the poignant Yoda’s Theme as well as the Main Title theme. Rossini’s William Tell Overture will be a spirited finale to the concert.  Perhaps the Lone Ranger will show up, just in the knick of time!

The South Orange Symphony, in its 68th season, is a community-based ensemble, with 50+ core members from all walks of life. The Orchestra performs 3 free concerts each season, as well as appearing in smaller ensembles at South Orange community events. Members range in age from 11-year-old percussionist Avery Crafton to people well into their 70s.  The orchestra is always looking for new members, amateur and interested professionals. Contact Janet at [email protected] if you’re interested.

The South Orange Symphony receives funding in part from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs and matching gift funds from several New Jersey corporations and from individual donors.  More information at or on South Orange Symphony’s FaceBook page.

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