Pensacola Symphony Orchestra: Music For Families

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra performed a great family event Saturday May 19, 2018.  I’m so glad we were able to go!  Music for families was an amazing event!

The event was held at the Saenger Theater in downtown Pensacola.  We had never been to this theater before.  The details of the inside were beautiful.

Blue’s Angels music store was one of the sponsors for the event.  I really love the Blue’s Angels music store.  They have a really awesome guard parrot that lives in the store.  They also have fish tanks that look like drums.

The atmosphere at Blue’s Angels is really relaxed and enjoyable.  The staff there make it a great store!  Blue’s Angels has a lot of teachers available for all types of instruments as well.  There is also a nice selection of pianos in their show room.

Cox and Wendy’s were also sponsors.  I’m glad these two businesses teamed up with Pensacola Symphony Orchestra to bring this entertainment to us.

The “Petting Zoo” For Instruments

We absolutely loved this idea!  The petting zoo was a place the children could visit nearly every instrument in the orchestra and learn a little about how it makes sound and give it a try on their own.  Each instrument was accompanied by a member of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra.

Piano

My DD went straight for the piano!  She’s been playing for years and she’ll play it any time she has a chance.  They had a nice black babygrand piano on display for all of the children to use.

Cello

Sneetch 2 went for the cello.  He was recently given a cello by a nearby church to learn on.  YoYo Ma is one of Sneetch 2’s favorite musicians.  The man at the cello station gave Sneetch 2 a little mini lesson on the cello and we watched him play a few notes.

Violin/Viola

Violin and Viola were also on display.  Viola is my personal favorite!  It plays the alto and has a warmer more homey sound.  It’s like the violin’s mom.  Sneetch 1 didn’t go with us but he prefers the Violin.  Violin is just so stereotypical though! Hahaha.  You know you love someone if you let them practice those high E string notes on violin in your house.

The Bass

We had to take a look at the Bass.  I’m not sure if some of the kids were just done looking at it or perhaps intimidated by it’s large size.  We have a Great Dane and the bass is bigger than he is!  We really enjoyed talking to the man giving the demonstration.  He let all of us play it and then he even played us a little song, Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Winds and Brass

They had an entire room of winds as well.  We went there and saw the Tuba, Basson, Flute, and Trumpet.  The lines in this room were also long.  They did clean the mouth piece after each use but, my kiddos just couldn’t bring themselves to blow on a mouth piece that had been used by 15 kids while we waited.  Perhaps my days of nursing school rubbed off on them!

Percussion

One of our favorite attractions was the percussion demonstration that the Blue’s Angels music store staff put on in the “instrument petting zoo”.  There were several different types of drums set up, maracas, and tambourines. The girl that lead the demo taught us different beats.  The big drums got to bang “ham and cheese”, the smaller drums beat a “run for-est run” beat, and those of us with tambourines and maracas shook to a beat of “pea-nut but-ter”.  Once we had it down they played the song “Happy” and we tried to stay on beat!  This was absolutely hilarious with about 30 kids in the room!

The Concert!

After all the time in the petting zoo was over, the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra played a concert for us.  The maestro, Peter Rubardt and a woman named Nicole talked to the audience about how instruments produced sound.  The concert had a “music train” that the conductor (Peter Rubardt) drove Nicole around on.  They pretended to look for all the members of the Orchestra.  Those of us in the crowd had to help “start” up the train.  On the floor level half of the people stomped feet to a beat.  The other half of the floor level audience chanted “chugga chugga”.  Those of us up in the balcony made the whistle sound of “woo woo”.  It may have been a little corny but, I loved it!

Drumland

When they got to Drumland, Nicole and the conductor introduced us to the “mayor” of Drumland.  He gave us an overview of all the instruments in the percussion section of the Orchestra.  Lots of people enjoy the drums but I think my favorite has to be the triangle.  The triangle reminds me of the ‘wild west’ where I’m from (west Texas that is).

Once we were all familiar with the instruments that fell under the percussion umbrella, the three guys playing percussion played a short little song.   I had no idea that composers even wrote songs for only percussion!  It was neat to see.

Brassburg

Nicole acted as though she thought only the drum section was the entire orchestra.  The conductor told her that he felt there were a few more people in an orchestra.  They hopped on the train again and found Brassburg.  Brassburg was home to the tubas, trumpets, and all those horns.

The mayor from Brassburg was a tuba player and he told everyone about the brass section.  One interesting thing this mayor mentioned was that the sound for these horns first starts with the way you buzz your lips!  I did not realize that the lips had to buzz to make the correct sound.  I’ve always thought it was like a flute or something and you just blow on it.

Once again we were treated to another song.  This song was brass plus percussion.

Woodwindville

The next stop on the “music train” was Woodwindville.  This section of the orchestra had bassoons, flutes, and oboes in it.  This little town had our first female mayor!  She played the bassoon.

Once we were educated on this section of the orchestra, you guessed it!, we got another song!

The flutes really added to the music.  I enjoyed those a lot.

String City

The last stop on the “music train” was the string city.  This is my favorite!  Our family really gravitates toward the strings.  I’ve got a small YouTube channel showing my progress as I learn both violin and piano.

I’ve also got this article here about learning to play as an adult.

The mayor of String City played the bass but he said he got elected mayor due to his vow to bring the viola back!  I don’t have a viola yet (hence learning violin instead) but I cheered loudly while the four violists held up their violas!

At last we had the entire Pensacola Symphony Orchestra assembled.  It was time for the full effect!

Finale

The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra played a mash up of all the songs in the Disney Beauty and the Beast film.  Nicole had picked this song for everyone.  Once this song was over she asked the crowd what song they would like to hear next.  Everyone luckily shouted Star Wars, which was already on the program!

Conclusion

This was a great program for kids and their families!  People were excited to hear the wonderful live music and everyone was polite and courteous no matter how loud the babies were.  We had such a great time we will definitely be back next year!

The best part was, the tickets were a mere $5 each.  You can’t go to a movie theater for that folks!  Your brain is certainly not going to be as engaged during a film either.  Lastly, your kids may never get to see and touch that many instruments in a single day!

Sheet Music

These are affiliate links.  This means if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission on this sale at now cost to you.  You don’t have to make a purchase.  If you do choose to make a purchase, it helps keep this website free. 

If you’d like to play some classical music at home, click here to buy some virtual sheet music.

They have 4 levels of sheet music to choose from for virtually any instrument you can think of.  It’s not purely classical either, they have all types of music.

Chicken Picks

These picks were developed by Eppo Franken in 1984.

I haven’t tried these yet but, I’m so looking forward to getting a trial set.  I last purchased these picks from Amazon.

These are okay but the thin ones broke over time and they are slippery if your hands get sweaty while playing.  I can’t wait to see how the chicken picks compare!

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  If you’re planning a vacation to Pensacola or live within driving distance, I hope you’ll consider watching the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra!

Until next time-

Davi

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