Each year, the Portland Youth Philharmonic and Conservatory Orchestra perform 4 Young Peoples Concerts for over 10,000 Elementary and Middle School children throughout Portland and Southwest Washington. The Philharmonic’s two concerts were on Wednesday, 3/9/13, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert hall. It is always fun to reach out to children who don’t have as much of an opportunity to experience classical music and watch them get exited about the music. We played repertoire from our Concert-at-Christmas, including the Gliere Russian Sailors Dance and Saint Seans Danse Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah. These audiences were particularly enthusiastic. They started clapping energetically to the beat in the middle of the Saint Seans, but as most lacked rhythmic training, the clapping quickly (but unintentionally) transitioned to the off-beat, then back to the beat, then to somewhere in-between. While this was somewhat distracting, rhythmic accuracy from the orchestra required extreme concentration, and the whole episode proved to be a very helpful rhythmic challenge to stay on the beat. It was really great to see the kids really getting into the music and having a fun time.

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