[bust of Pierre Monteux, the school's founder. The guy who was running the program held this up, talked about Monteux and had everyone practice their French accents by saying his name.]
A few times a week, they offer concerts, for the public. In all my nearly 44 summers here, I don't think I have actually ever gone to a concert there. [insert embarrassed emoticon here]
Once a summer, they also offer a special children's concert, in the morning. I have also never been to one of the children's concerts; of late, this has been due to the fact that they conflict with library hours. During the last few summers, Grandma (my mom, Anne, that is) has been kind enough to take Alden (and various other children, too, no doubt). This year, though, the concert happened during the time that Anne was away.
In part because I just wanted to get to go, and in part because Alden started playing the violin this year (as part of his school's regular music program, all kids play violin in 3rd grade), and will play viola next year (and will play in the 4th grade orchestra), I wanted to take him. I just want him to have as many different opportunities to see/listen to music as possible. So, I arranged to have someone do my morning library hours for me, and off Alden and I went, to the concert.
The focus was on the question" what is a conductor?" and there was a combination of lots of little pieces of music, quick intros to some of the key instruments, and lots of audience participation around the question "what does a conductor do?" The guy who led the whole thing was really good, and over the course of the hour or so that the performance went on, they talked about the conductor's job of helping the musicians play loud/soft, fast/slow, with a certain beat, all together, with a certain mood, etc etc.
Alden and I both enjoyed it a lot. It was fun to be in this funny little woodsy setting, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, hearing this real orchestra playing real music, and learning about conductors.