No one who has witnessed the sheer delight generated among young audiences at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's children's concerts can doubt that the programs serve an important educational function. Through its Music for Youth, Tiny Tots and Prime Time programs, the orchestra has taken classical music off the dusty shelf of history and transformed it into a vibrant, living presence to be enjoyed by a new generation of concertgoers.
Youngsters attending the BSO's children's concert tomorrow will be treated to an extraordinary performance by any standard: Among the musicians on stage will be some two dozen of their peers, prodigies from the Peabody Prep school between the ages of 14 and 17 who will perform side-by-side with the orchestra's regular players. In addition, five soloists have been drawn from the ranks of Peabody Prep students as the featured players in the BSO's performance of Saint-Saens' beloved classic, "Carnival of the Animals."
Each year for the past decade, some 100,000 children have attended the BSO's educational programs. In an era when orchestras are looking for ways to attract new audiences, these concerts reach out to a huge pool of potential future concertgoers. The BSO presents more youth concerts than any other professional orchestra in the country.
For young artists, the chance to play side-by-side with the BSO is one of the highlights of their year. For their peers in the audience, it will be a special treat. And for adults who would like to share the fun, the orchestra will repeat the entire performance for the general public at its regular Saturday morning concert Dec. 11.