Have Twins, Will Travel

Boston Symphony Orchestra Family Concert

Boston, Mass – At the tender age of two years old, the twins are officially classical music buffs.

They got their first dose at Symphony Hall, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra hosted its bi-annual family concert. What a thrill! We sat up in the balcony, and the twins really seemed to get a kick out of looking around the magnificent hall, picking out the instruments on stage and listening to the lively music.
The talking, not so much.
And the Weber Andante that featured a lengthy bassoon solo, that didn’t really do it for them either. In fact, we had to leave after that.
But prior to that, they sat contentedly and listened to 45 minutes of classical music, featuring Wagner, Williams, Schubert and Puccini. They did have lollipops, but still.
The program was audience appropriate (aside from the bassoon solo), featuring short, attention-grabbing pieces. And while my twins were oblivious that one piece was the Imperial March from Star Wars (Darth Vader’s theme), and another was from ET, these songs went over very well with other members of the audience. (I was actually surprised by this. Do kids today know ET?)
Prior to the concert, the BSO offered a bunch of interactive activities for the kids. The “meet & greet” with the instruments seemed like a fabulous idea, offering the children opportunities to test out all kinds of different instruments. Unfortunately, there were just way too many people for my little guys. We had to wait in line for every instrument; and when it was finally our turn, the twins got stage fright. Twin S stood staunchly and stared at the trumpet, even though we have a toy trumpet at home that he loves to toot. Twin V was brave enough to put his mouth on the horn, but when it didn’t work the first time, he had had enough.
(Thanks to the BSO for providing this photo, which was taken by Stu Rosner. Two frightened children and a harried-looking mother – can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to use this in their publicity materials.)
For the twins, I think the highlight was the string bass demonstration. I’m pretty sure they had never seen or heard a string bass, and this one was a beauty (dating from 1830-something!). They sat at the musician’s feet and were mesmerized as he played the huge, yawning instrument.
There was also a craft room, where kids were making Darth Vader masks. In another activity room, children were making batons and learning to conduct. We just ran out of time for this one, but I saw plenty of children “conducting” the concert later on. Very cute!
When we got home, I asked Twin V to tell our friends what we did at Symphony Hall. He said “We saw some really old guitars and a little tiny banjo.” He was referring to the antique instruments that were on display in one of the activity rooms. It’s not what I would have guessed would be the highlight of a trip to the symphony, but I’ll take it.

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