Northport High School’s symphony orchestra recently presented its annual Children’s Concert. This year’s theme centered around animals, as musicians performed “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saёns.
The piece, written for two pianos and orchestra, is a collection of short movements, each representing a different animal and featuring different instruments. The orchestra was accompanied by dancers from the IB dance program, whose performance also featured Superintendent Robert Banzer, who recited poetry based on each movement. The combined choirs and symphonic winds added to the program by performing “Be like the Bird” by Abbie Betinis and “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite” by Karl L. King, respectively.
Third graders were specifically invited to the concert to be introduced to the instruments available for them to study in the Summer Music and Art Program (SMART Program), but the auditorium was packed with families and children of all ages.
The Northport High School commons was filled with the third graders’ beautiful artwork, created in their elementary school art classes and inspired by listening to “Carnival of the Animals.” Centered in the middle was a carousel, designed and constructed by the string and symphony orchestra members. As the children entered the auditorium, each were given a homemade pom-pom animal, created by the orchestra members, as a memento of the event.
For the high school students, performing in the Children’s Concert was a way to inspire the younger students to become active members of a musical ensemble. In the words of senior members of the Symphony Orchestra:
“Seeing the joy on the children’s faces always reminds me that each orchestra member was once that age and chose to be a part of the musical family of Northport. I’m so glad I get to inspire kids to fill the future generations of orchestras.”
“Not a lot of schools have this kind of opportunity for younger kids, to help them choose the instrument that they want to play, so it’s kind of incredible that we are able to share our music with them to help them along the way.”
“I feel so fortunate to be able to be a part of the Northport Music Program. I have made so many great memories from my years playing cello, and the Children’s Concert is a highlight each year. I remember going to the concert when I was younger, and am so happy that now I get to be a part of it.”