Norton Trust Grant Funds "Carnival Of The Animals" Performance For Elementary School Students
Elementary school students in Plainville experienced a production of "Carnival of the Animals" on April 28th, thanks to a grant from the Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund. The classical piece, composed by Camille Saint-Saens, featured an ensemble of strings, woodwinds, and percussion. Linden Street School Music Teacher Marilyn Brendel utilized the grant to produce the performance. Brendel collaborated with viola professor Rita Porfiris from The University of Hartford. A group of musicians from the 20/20 Ensemble of The Hartt School toured the elementary schools in the district. Musicians were accompanied by conductor Edward Cumming, who helped present the performance. Greg Wilfrid, music teacher at Louis Toffolon Elementary School, engaged students with his narration.
Thanks to the performances, the students embarked on a zoological journey through music. The piece opened with a stately lion, then visited hens, roosters, donkeys, tortoises, elephants, kangaroos, an aquarium, a cuckoo, an aviary, pianists, fossils, a swan, and finally a parade of all the animals. Saint-Saens characterized each animal with a different grouping of instruments; for example, the elephant, by the low string bass, and the swan, by the lyrical cello. Students delighted in the virtuosity and theatrics of the musicians. The clarinetist enthralled the children as he raced around the auditorium, playing the sound of a cuckoo bird. The elementary music teachers prepared students for the performance with a study of the Saint-Saens piece.
"Carnival of the Animals was an excellent demonstration of how composers use pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and instrumentation to create different moods. The programmatic nature of the music made its content accessible for students from pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade" explained Brendel. "Thanks to the generosity of the Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund, we were able to bring this amazing musical and theatrical experience to fruition for Plainville’s elementary school students."
-Posted on May 14, 2015 at 09:40 AM
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