Classics and Kids

orchestra’s family show features reading, ‘petting zoo’

Barbara Arnold

Don’t worry, it won’t bite.
Don’t worry, it won’t bite.

A live narration of Meet the Orchestra, a children’s book by Ann Hayes, will take center stage at the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s annual and free Family Concert at 2pm Saturday, Jan. 28, at Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Ave., Eau Claire. Eau Claire Area School District music educator Wanda Miller will narrate Hayes’ book, which takes children through an “evening at the symphony” with every instrument of the orchestra explained. Children also will have the chance to pick up the baton and conduct the orchestra as well as participate in the ever-popular orchestra “petting zoo.” Music director Frank A. Watkins has also chosen some well-known works of Hayden and Mozart that will delight children and adults alike: Haydn’s “Bear” and “Toy” symphonies and Mozart’s Symphony No. 6, which he composed at age 11, and an excerpt from Mozart’s beloved “Eine kleine Nachtmusik,” also known as “A Little Night Music.” The free Family Concert begins ECCO’s 19th season, which will continue March 11 with “An Evening of Grace,” a concert sponsored jointly by the UW-Eau Claire Artists Series and Grace Lutheran Church as a tribute to Leonard Haas, UWEC’s first chancellor, and conducted by Ivar Lunde Jr., a founder and music director of ECCO for nearly two decades. This concert will feature a premier of Lunde’s commissioned work “Everyone Suddenly Burst Out Singing” and the Poulenc Organ Concerto performed by Elaine Mann. And on April 22, the orchestra will present “Musician’s Choice,” a concert of music of Bach, Hayden, and Lars-Erik Larsson chosen by orchestra members. 

Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s Family Concert • Saturday, Jan. 28, 2pm • Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Ave., Eau Claire • FREE 

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