Arts and music education in public schools has suffered cutbacks in recent years, due to tightening budgets and shifting priorities. In response many community organizations have rallied to the cause, inaugurating or expanding programs designed to engender an interest in the arts in young audiences, both as participants and as future audience members.
One such initiative is La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ annual Young People’s Concert, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla. Students from San Diego area schools are invited to attend an open rehearsal with a presentation by conductor Steven Schick, who provides commentary from the podium and fields questions from the audience.
The focus of the 2016 concert is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, one of the cornerstones of the classical repertoire. Schick guides the students through an exploration of the Symphony’s structure, illustrating through musical excerpts how Beethoven used simple means in innovative ways to construct his piece. He also discusses the role of the orchestra’s various instruments and sections (e.g., brass) in shaping the sound, demonstrates how the composer uses interconnected themes throughout, and considers how Beethoven’s work differs from the composers who preceded and influenced him.
Often humorous, always informative, the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Young People’s Concert 2016 affords viewers (both young and older) a lively introduction to one of the masterworks of Western music.