An engaging experience: WindSync brings classical music to life for hundreds of local third graders | TheUnion.com

An engaging experience: WindSync brings classical music to life for hundreds of local third graders

Submitted to The Union

The giggles and chatter of hundreds of eager third graders from around western Nevada County vibrated around the room Monday shortly before the WindSync Quintet took the stage.

From the first note out of the wood wind ensemble, the students' attention was focused on the five musicians on stage in front of them.

Each spring, InConcert Sierra presents Third Grade Education concerts to 500 students around the community. Monday the nonprofit arts organization welcomed students from Bell Hill Academy, Chicago Park, Clear Creek, Cottage Hill, Deer Creek, Echo Ridge, Forest Charter, Mount St. Mary's Academy, Scotten and Union Hill schools at two different performances.

Through a version of "Hoe-down," from Copeland's Rodeo, WindSync introduced the 8- and 9-year-olds to their instruments in the traditional woodwind quintet — a bassoon, oboe, flute, clarinet and horn.

WindSync also illustrated the dynamics of sound through "dances" with the kids during select pieces, asking them to raise their hands or shuffle them forward to demonstrate whether the movement is forte (loud) and piano (quiet). The ensemble wrapped up their performance with an animated rendition of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf."

"Thank you for providing this amazing opportunity to our students," said Shelly Andersen, third-grade teacher at Union Hill School. "They always walk away with a greater appreciation and understanding of music. My students were mesmerized by the performers on Monday."

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WindSync takes a special interest in reaching children, families and underserved audiences. They have also been featured in educational concerts presented by the Seattle Symphony, Midland Symphony in Michigan, and Orli Shaham's "Baby Got Bach." Their concerts for young people reach more than 5,000 students per year.

"InConcert is dedicated to encouraging the imagination of young minds through music and WindSync did a great job doing just that," said Artistic Director Ken Hardin. "Their arrangement of Peter and the Wolf brought the famous fable to life on the stage."

The week before the concerts, volunteer docents go in to meet with students in their classrooms, discuss the music they will hear and prepare the kids for the experience, including hearing a selection of songs recorded by WindSync. Then students attended a 45-minute performance Monday, including a question and answer period.

For more information about InConcert Sierra, or the Third Grade Education concerts, visit http://www.inconcertsierra.org or call 530-273-3990.

Source: InConcert Sierra