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CONWAY: Symphony performs children’s concert

by BY CAROLINE ZILK Staff Writer | March 14, 2010 at 3:48 a.m.

— As one of the offerings in its 25th-anniversary year, the Conway Symphony Orchestra performed the children’s classic Peter and the Wolf on Saturday.

The organization was founded in 1984 as a joint project between Hendrix College and the University of Central Arkansas.

The orchestra’s relationship was later formalized with UCA. Music students on scholarship are deemed “pre-professional musicians” and are allowed to perform with the orchestra while attending the university. Conductor Israel Getzov said this makes the organization unique.

“The enthusiasm of the students rubs off on the professional musicians, and the professionalism of the musicians rubs off on the students,” he said.

The professional members of the orchestra hail from all over the state. Members perform together about six times a year.

Getzov, in his fifth year as conductor of the Conway Symphony Orchestra, said he always hears many positive comments about Peter and the Wolf - in which various instruments play the parts of animals - from parents, as well as children.

“Music speaks to people of all ages,” Getzov said. “When you remove the pretentiousness that we adults sometimes put on things that we like, I think we can enjoy them more.”

Conway Symphony Orchestra General Manager Vicki Crockett said the group has not performed Peter and the Wolf in several years. She was excited by the choice of the selection.

“A lot of school music classes study it, and it’s not just listening to music. There is kind of a story that goes along with it,” Crockett said.

Students also had a chance to become engaged with the music after Saturday’s performance during what Crockett calls the “petting zoo.”

“We have four musicianswith the instruments the kids can play,” Crockett said.

Children are allowed to bow a cello or blow a horn and discover instruments they may want to study in the future.

In conjunction with the concert was a food drive, part of a national program called Orchestras Feeding America. This is the second year the Conway Symphony Orchestra has participated in the drive. The orchestra teamed up with Hendrix and UCA to make sure the food drive was a success.

Student organizations on the campuses collected food from faculty and students and brought the donations to the concert Saturday, Crockett said.

The food will be divided between local food pantries and churches in Faulkner County. Members of the symphony donated food as well.

“We are doing our part,” Getzov said. “We hope to contribute to [the food drive’s] success.”

For more information about the Conway Symphony Orchestra, visit www.conwaysymphonyorchestra.org.

- czilk@ arkansasonline.com

River Valley Ozark, Pages 183 on 03/14/2010

Print Headline: CONWAY Symphony performs children’s concert


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