The Santa Clarita Symphony will inaugurate its “Family Concert Series” with a "Storytelling" theme starting at 3 p.m. this Sunday afternoon, Jan. 28, at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia 91355.
Twelve-year-old award-winning violin prodigy Elizabeth Basoff-Darskaia will join the Symphony and its fully professional 64-piece orchestra to perform an enchanting matinee program featuring the 1001 Nights of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s "Scheherazade," Sergei Prokofiev’s perennial favorite "Peter and The Wolf," and "The Moldau" by Bedrich Smetana.
“I am delighted to bring this 'Storytelling' program to our audience in Santa Clarita,” Symphony Music Director and Conductor Robert Lawson said. “This music will allow our youth to experience the joys of classical music, and the young-at-heart will have a lot of fun.”
Veteran professional storyteller Michael D. McCarty will display his expertise as he narrates "Peter and The Wolf" and helps Lawson and the orchestra bring the other musical stories to life for children of all ages.
“Michael McCarty is a fantastic storyteller and will add a lot to the afternoon,” Symphony Executive Director Dr. Michael Millar said. “We wanted to surpass the usual low-key 'Peter and The Wolf' narration and take it to another level entirely. Michael’s energy and enthusiasm explode from a stage, and you won’t want to miss this! My son and daughter saw one of Michael’s programs four years ago, and they can still quote from the stories he told. They can’t wait to see him again.”
McCarty is a multicultural storyteller of African, African-American and international folk tales, historical tales, stories of science, and spiritual stories. He recounts some of the brilliant and stupid things he has done in his life, and experiences traveling to South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, China, Jamaica, Russia, Egypt, Indonesia, England, Malaysia, Korea and other countries. From these travels, McCarty reaps a harvest of tales that testify to the unity within the diversity of the human spirit.
The Symphony's first “Family Concert Series” performance will also have an education component. Thanks to Time Warner Cable and Borders Books, the first 200 admitted families will receive a fully illustrated, hard-cover book of "Peter and The Wolf" signed by McCarty and select musicians.
"The Santa Clarita Symphony’s 'Storytelling' concert is a wonderful combination of family, music and literacy, and we are definitely proud to be a sponsor, said Katie Hines, Time Warner Cable Los Angeles Public Relations Manager. "It’s a perfect match to Time Warner Cable’s commitment to our local communities."
Symphony Education Director Jeffrey Gilbert, also, Instrumental Music Director at Rio Norte Junior High, has developed special program curriculum based on California Arts Content Standards which will be available for local music educators who wish to prepare for the concert with their students in the classroom.
In conjunction with the concert, National Art Honor Society and Advanced Placement art students from Valencia High School, under the direction of NAHS Advisor Cindy Pharis, will present a special art exhibit in the Performing Arts Center lobby.
“The ‘Family Concert Series’ was conceived as a vital component of the Symphony’s mission to strengthen music education in area schools and to enrich the culture in our community,” Marketing Director John Dow said.
Dow also noted that the Symphony’s “Instrument Petting Zoo” is held on the first Friday of the month at Borders Books and Music at Valencia Town Center.
“Through the Instrument Petting Zoo, the Symphony has given hundreds of local kids the opportunity to hear orchestral instruments demonstrated by Symphony professionals and to experience playing those instruments themselves,” he said.
Dow added a vital piece of information for SCV families making their January weekend plans. “To our NFL fans, there is NO football on Jan. 28 – it’s the weekend BEFORE the Super Bowl! It's the perfect time to bring the kids to hear the Santa Clarita Symphony's exciting 'Family Concert'!”
Individual tickets for the "Family Concert" and the Symphony’s other 2006-2007 full-orchestra “Masterpiece Concerts” at the Performing Arts Center are $40, $30 and $20. Discounts fare available for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.
The Symphony’s new online ticketing system at www.scsymphony.com makes it very easy for concertgoers to purchase tickets ahead of time, securely and quickly.