On Sunday, I got to spend the afternoon with Big Sister at the Colorado Symphony, and we had so much fun! I didn’t know that the Colorado Symphony offers as Family Series of concerts geared toward kids of all ages. We recently became part of the 5 x 5 program through the City of Denver, and got free tickets to the entire Family Series for this year. I wanted to share with my readers the awesome opportunity that we have to experience the Colorado Symphony with our kids- and make sure that you know where to buy tickets for the rest of the series!
Before the Show
We went to the Drums Of The World concert on Sunday- and it was incredible. When we arrived at the Boettcher Concert Hall, there were lots of kid’s crafts to entertain everyone before the concert started. Kids could make their own drums, tambourines, and maracas. We opted for the easy DIY egg shakers. There were TONS of volunteers on hand to explain how to do the project, and all of the different aspects of the instruments everyone was making. Such a great idea!
Perfect For Kids
As we headed to our seats, we also were able to pick up a booster seat. Big Sister is just shy of four years old, and she would be too short to see over the seat in front of her. I was anticipating having to seat her on my lap the whole time, but she loved sitting up on the booster, and got a great view of the whole show. There were lots of ushers to help us find out seats and make sure we had a program.
If you’ve never been to the Boettcher Concert Hall in Downtown Denver, it needs to go on your list. It’s a beautiful facility, the acoustics are fantastic- but my favorite part of the venue is the architectural design. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. We sat in the Dress Circle, and got to see the concert from above. It was awesome!
During the Show
Before the show started we were reminded of concert etiquette in a kid friendly and silly way. Partway through the show my daughter had to use the bathroom, and we left and returned during the songs and it was no problem. There were babies that called out or needed to nurse, and everyone was super friendly. It was amazing to be in such a family-friendly atmosphere with my daughter. I grew up studying music and attending the symphony, and it was always a very formal affair. Kudos to the Colorado Symphony for allowing us parents to share classical music with our kids in a meaningful way!
So I haven’t even shared the best part yet- the music. The program was AMAZING. Five percussionists played every kind of percussive instrument imaginable (and I know, because I was a percussionist in college!). After each selection, one of the musicians would give a brief history or overview of either the important instruments used, or the musical style. After introducing the steel drums from Trinidad and Tobago by playing a classic Sergio Mendes tune, the musicians showed their sense of humor by playing Billie Jean (and dancing a bit too!) on the steel drums in sparkling hats. Big Sister thought that was pretty darn cool- and so did I. They also did some traditional Mexican music using a beautiful handmade marimba from Chiapas, Mexico- in the traditional style of multiple musicians on the same instrument. It was amazing.
After the Show
As a former percussionist and closet marching band fanatic, my favorite piece of the entire show was executed, amazingly by the husband-wife duo of Elizabeth and Michael Van Wirt. A tough tough piece, “8 on Three 9 on Two” composed by Robert Marino has the two percussionists sharing drums for a crazy, non-stop rhythmic extravaganza of sound. I wanted to jump on stage and start marching. (I know, nerd alert). After the concert ended, the musicians made themselves available for questions and answers in the Boettcher Lobby. We had a great time saying hello to the musicians- and older kids were asking some amazing questions. I especially loved seeing a female percussionist- what am great example for my daughters to see that they can be a professional musician if they choose!
If you are interested in the rest of this year’s family series of concerts with the Colorado Symphony, head to their website here for dates, times, themes, and tickets. (We are super excited that Colorado Christmas is coming on the 10th!) Additionally, for teachers, keep in mind that the Colorado Symphony offers a Symphonic Storytelling Series, aligned to the Common Core, for grades 3-8. Check out the details here.
Have you ever been to the symphony? What’s your favorite part? Comment below!