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Bringing music to the masses

Caramie SchnellVail, CO, Colorado
AE Bravo Outreach PU 7-11-07
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Theres one word to describe what Addison Maurer, 3, felt after an afternoon at the Avon Library with Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Gloria DePasquel last week.She was smitten.After returning home from the interactive Live at the Library performance, the blonde-haired, blue eyed Addison, went on a toy-turned-instrument hunt, her mother Dana Maurer said.Settling her sights on a kid-sized guitar and a small broomstick to serve as a bow, Addison, the youngest of three children, improvised her own cello, Maurer said.The kids all came home wanting a cello, Maurer said. They were definitely moved by the performance. Theyd never seen a cello that close before only on T.V. or from afar on a stage.After a short story and performance at the library, children lined up to handle a miniature cello.They let them touch the special horse hair, and the bow made of special wood from a rainforest in South America. They got to feel and experience how it felt to be a cellist for a minute, Maurer said.Edwards resident Gina Sturde brought her two sons Alex, 7, and Jake, 5, to the afternoon performance.I think they enjoyed it more than they would admit they enjoyed it, Sturde said. Its very rare that we get to hear live music like that.I like that its casual and that we dont have to pay for it, we can just drop in and stay as long as they want to, Sturde said.Rather than seeing a little dot of a person playing on stage at a busy Bravo! concert, these smaller, intimate performances help children connect to both musicians and their instruments, Maurer said. Her hope is that when she and her husband bring the brood Addison and her two brothers, Cole, 7, and Grant, 5 to a Bravo! concert at the Ford Amphitheater in the coming weeks, theyll be more apt to pay attention to the dots the talented musicians onstage.

Integrating music into the community and making arts more accessible was the initial inspiration for the creation of Bravo!s Music Matters program in 2000, said Liz Campbell, the programs founder and director. The tag line Expanding cultural literacy and promoting community participation in the performing arts, seems spot on. Over six weeks nearly 10,000 adults and children participate in more than 40 free community outreach Bravo! events, Campbell said. When the program started seven years ago, that number was closer to 3,000, Campbell said. Weve almost reached our zenith. For a six week program, weve about maxed out our numbers, Campbell said.The instrument petting zoo, which features brass, woodwind, percussion and string instruments, is especially popular with both kids and parents, Campbell said.A trumpet, trombone, flute, violins, violas, cellos, bass, drums, a clarinet and a plethora of percussion instruments round out the collection, which is used by local school children during the winter andthen returned to Bravo! come summer for use at the zoo.Ultimately, we hope the youngsters pursue music as part of their education. Music studies helps to expand a childs brain and there is a dramatic difference between kids who study music and those who dont, Campbell said. At the instrument petting zoos its easy to pick out the children who have studied or been exposed to music before, she said. Campbells own 6-year-old son, Jack, has spent time around drums, the piano and a guitar since he was 4 years old. He understands rhythm and beat and hes able to articulate that really quickly. Whereas if Im working with a kid the same age thats never been exposed to instruments and music, its cumbersome for them to be able to repeat back what youre doing particularly with the drums.Likewise, the library performances held in Vail, Avon and Gypsum libraries are interactive, engaging and educational. Giving people the chance to connect directly with the musicians helps expand their knowledge and interest in orchestral and chamber music performances, Campbell said.When we started these programs, very few children knew the violin bow was made of horse hair or the correct pronunciation of Mozart. The last time we were in Gypsum with a library string program, the children knew the answers to our questions and many now know how to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on a violin, Campbell said.

Discover music and participate in the Vail Valleys lively arts culture through Music Matters, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festivals free community programs. As part of the summer Festivals world-class orchestral and chamber performances, Music Matters integrates the performing arts into our community.For more information call 827-5700 or visit http://www.vailmusicfestival.org. Here are the seasons remaining Music Matters programs:Instrument Petting ZooChildren of all ages are exposed to real instruments, a first-time, hands-on experience for many, in this traveling exhibition. This is free. Thursday from 10-11 a.m. at the Ford Amphitheater Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Minturn Market Sunday, July 22, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Vail Farmers MarketFamily ConcertThe annual Family Concert is a great way to get kids excited about classical music. This informal introduction to orchestral music features works from classic childrens tales including Cinderella, Peter and the Wolf and Mother Goose. This concert happens Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Ford Amphitheater, featuring the National Repertory Orchestra, led by conductor Carl Topilow. Live @ the LibraryThe young, ages 3-7, and the young-at-heart will enjoy fun and informative musical performances in area libraries. Clark Matthews, French Horn1 p.m. on Thursday, July 26Avon Library New York Philharmonics Jon Deak, double bass; Joseph Pereira, percussion; Kim Laskowski, bassoon1 p.m. on Thursday, July 26Vail Library New York Philharmonics Jon Deak, double bass; Joseph Pereira, percussion1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25Eagle LibraryCasual Classics and Music & ConversationBarriers between performers and audiences are removed in a series of interactive chamber concerts. Musical Impressions, works by Ravel and Ginastera5:30 p.m., Monday, July 23Cordillera, Edwards Harp Happenings, Including works by Schubert, Saint-Sans, and Salzedo7 p.m., Monday, July 30Gypsum Town HallPerformance Preludes and A Pre-Concert TalkBeginning at 5 p.m., featured speakers provide an intimate perspective to the evenings composers and repertoire. Tuesday, July 24 Vilar Center for the Arts, Lower LobbyArtistic Director Eugenia Zukerman and artists Anthea Kreston and Jason Duckles Tuesday, July 31 Vilar Center for the Arts, Lower LobbyArtistic Director Eugenia Zukerman and artists Stephen Taylor, Alan R. Kay, Stewart Rose, and Peter Kolkay Tuesday, August 2Vilar Center for the Arts, Lower LobbyArtistic Director Eugenia Zukerman and artists Kathleen McIntosh and Melvin ChenConcerts in public placesFree afternoon concerts in public places introduce new audiences and entertain seasoned veterans to a variety of instrumental performances. Vail Library1 p.m., Wednesday, July 25West End String QuartetClark Matthews, French HornOutdoor Concerts Featuring the West End String Quartet and Clark Matthews, French Horn Saturday, July 21, from 10 – 11 a.m. at Minturn Market Sunday, July 22, from 11-noon at Vail Farmers Market Tuesday, July 24, from 11 – noon at Beaver Creek Ice Rink Saturday, July 28, noon – 1 p.m.at Gore Creek Promenade Sunday, July 29, 11 a.m. – noon at Beaver Creek Ice Rink Wednesday, Aug. 1, 11 a.m. – noon at Beaver Creek Ice RinkArts & Entertainment Writer Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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