The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra is well known for their outreach efforts to the community. With everything from free Fourth of July performances in Festival Park and at the Fort Bragg Parade Field to the free concert that all Cumberland County School System’s third graders attend each year to the Symphony at your library events, there is no doubt that the FSO believes that good music is for everyone and should be easily accessible to everyone, at little or no cost.
On Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Crown Coliseum, Maestro Fouhad Foukouri and the FSO present the Exceptional Children and Adults Concert. With the help of the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the Florence Rogers Charitable Trust, the event is free and open to the public.
For this performance there will be no awkwardness when audience members clap loudly or sing out of turn, no frustrated neighbours telling the listeners to hush or throwing stink eye because of unbridled enthusiasm in response to the performance. Just as the name suggests, this event is for exceptional children and adults — and it will be more than a concert.
The sixty musicians will be presenting a dedicated classical performance that will include the Stars and Stripes and the National Anthem which will give all participants an opportunity to sing along.
However, the heart of the evening will be the symphonic performance of Peter and the Wolf, written by Sergei Prokofi ev. The story will be read by a narrator who will be accompanied by the orchestra. Adding to the experience, there will be pictures of the story in the lobby for concert attendees to enjoy.
“The beauty of performing Peter and the Wolf is that it is musical story telling at its fi nest. It is shorter and exciting and there are visuals to enhance the performance for those in attendance,” said FSO spokesperson, Carin Sychterz.
The audience is encouraged to visit the Instrument Petting Zoo where instruments will be placed on tables in the lobby with musicians who play those instruments there to offer guidance, answer questions and talk about sound, music and how a musician works to create sound.
“The concert goers will have the opportunity to play the instruments which will deepen their concert experience but also involve them in the musical process; giving the children and especially those with autism who are both visual learners and very tactile, a sense of being in the music,” said Sychterz.
So that the experience will be more than one unforgettable evening, the Fayetteville Symphony will give an FSO CD to the fi rst 125 families that attend the evening’s concert.
“This CD will give the special needs child or adult the opportunity to listen to other music that can give them joy over and over again; returning them to the classical music that will provide a calming and soothing experience and evoking the pleasing memories from the live performance,” Sychterz said.
This project is being supported fi nancially by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and The Florence Rogers Charitable Trust. It is also supported by the Autism Society of Cumberland County, The Gilmore Therapeutic Recreation Center, the Autism Society of North Carolina and theExceptional Family Member Program on Fort Bragg.
For more information call the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra at 433-4690. It’s free and no preregistration is required.
Photo top left: The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.