Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra music Director David Anderson addresses the large assembly of children during the group’s recent program at Lakewood Elementary School in Twin Lakes (Tom Ganser/The Report).

LGSO school tour includes Twin Lakes, Silver Lake

By Tom Ganser

Many students at Lakewood School in Twin Lakes recently enjoyed their first live orchestra performance and met the musicians up close and personal, watching and hearing the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra.

The LGSO also performed at Riverview Elementary School in Silver Lake and Randall Consolidated School in Burlington.

The volunteer musicians have taken time each season since 2001 to offer a school-day tour.

“We are so excited to play for you today,” LGSO Music Director David Anderson said in greeting the audience of students and staff after starting with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “We all love music and we all love sharing our music. We are going to explore today the many different things that music does to us.”

In a concert clearly designed to be an educational experience and not just entertainment, Anderson asked, “How many of you have feelings that made you proud of our country whenever you sang the national anthem? This is what music does. It makes you feel certain ways.”

The orchestra then played “O Canada” as a second example of music that evokes a sense of national pride.

The 40 musicians offered examples of music that tells a story and depicts weather (“Frozen”), an exciting experience (“Flying”) and the history of westward expansion in the United States (“Go West”).

Anderson also recommended that students pay attention to the music scores for television and movies.

“The next time you watch a movie, and the next time you watch a television show, I’d like for you to listen to the music playing in the background. Can you imagine watching a movie without the music?”

Anderson guided the young audience in deconstructing the music of a symphony orchestra by having musicians hold up their instruments by type, with some of playing them solo, and then leading each section – strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion – in playing an excerpt from “Frozen,” first section by section and then as a full orchestra.

“One of the great things about music,” Anderson said, “is so many different things are going on at the same time.”

Anderson also suggested the value of musical instruments in brain development.

“Did you know that if you study a musical instrument you get better at other subjects – math, English, reading, science,” he said. “The reason is that the way that music makes your brain work (and) makes you better at everything else.”

After performing an arrangement of “St. Louis Blues” as a unique style, the concert ended with students walking through the middle of the orchestra as it performed a crowd-pleasing score from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“The school-day concerts are an important part of our educational mission,” Anderson said. “The kids are so enthusiastic and respond positively to hearing all the sounds in an orchestra. For a large percentage of our audience, it is the very first time they have experienced a live symphony orchestra. In these concerts, we hope that the students have fun but also learn how powerful music can be.”

The LGSO has scheduled a second school-day tour on Jan. 24.


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