Posts Tagged: Children’s Concert

Cinderella Goes to Music School

The Viola Concerto

or “Cinderella Goes to Music School”

This piece, for narrator, viola soloist, and orchestra ( – – tp+2 – hp – pno – str) is a retelling of the Cinderella fairytale set in a music conservatory.  It’s written for large orchestra and gets around to introducing every one of the instruments, with a special emphasis on the oft-neglected viola.  It lasts just a little over 30 minutes.

The solo viola part really needs to be played by a young woman in order to make the show work dramatically.  Ideally the flute and oboe soloists should also be young women.  All of the featured performers need to be able to poke a little fun at their instruments’ particular foibles.  There are many dramatic possibilities for the performance of this piece, largely dependent upon how game/creative the performers are.

(An option if you don’t have an all female “cast”: use images projected over the orchestra to convey the story element visually.  Have the orchestra, including all the soloists, dress in black and play with stand lights.)

I’m offering this for what I consider to be the very reasonable rental and royalty package $150, with an additional royalty of $50 per performance.

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

This past Monday, I did the first of (hopefully?) many children”s concerts that I shall do over the course of my career.  All in all, things went well, though I learned that the worst part of any children”s concert is definitely the children — they”re just too unpredictable.  Plus, there were some real tweakers among the Mainish children to whom I presented.

Philosophically speaking, I would offer a typically Žižekian reversal and propose that Children”s Concerts are truly for adults: the parents and grandparents are the ones listening and learning, and they feel especially good because they”re doing something “cultural” for their children.  Of course, if we take this assertion to its natural conclusion, it should mean that adult subscription concerts are really for children.  Maybe this is not so far off the mark, but only for a certain kind of child – the child who is entranced not only by the music, but by the elusive ritual of adult nightlife — the child who would savor the rare treat of being allowed to share the company of adults on a special occasion.

Anyway, I tried slots to make the whole thing interactive.  Here”s a clip:

God I hate my voice.  I wish it was deep and gravelly, like Lenny”s or Bea Arthur”s.  I could try smoking it down an octave, but the last time I had a cigarette I booted all over the damn place.  I suppose I”ll just have to live with the curse of my clear, beautiful, ringing, natural tenor.

Overall I was happy with the Kinderkonzert, but let”s just say, I don”t think there”s any danger of a shift in my key demographic, as this YouTube Analytics Pie Chart will certainly indicate:

key demographic

Come to think of it, maybe it”s just my Children”s Concerts that are really for adults… or maybe just old ladies.