Building on the success of last year’s sessions when there was an opportunity to meet the wind and string players, the most recent Little Listeners concert featured the brass section from the Orchestra of Opera North.
Children from birth to 5 years, together with some older brothers and sisters on holiday from school, enjoyed a light-hearted selection of classical music pieces played by trumpets, trombones, a bass trombone and a tuba, while finding out more about the loudest instruments in the orchestra.
Unlike a traditional concert, the youngsters were actively encouraged to move around to the music as much as they liked, with the toe-tapping repertoire including many well-known favourites such as The Elephant from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, Daniel Speer’s Sonata No. 1, and a special arrangement of Frère Jacques.
The relaxed session was presented by Kathryn Sturman, Opera North’s Lead Early Years Delivery Artist, who showed the children how long the instruments would be if you could unravel them into a straight tube - and the unusual (and funny!) noises some of them can make.
At the end, there was even a chance to find out for themselves how easy it was to play a note, as the little listeners chatted to the players and had a go at playing their favourite instrument.
Little Listeners is now preparing to go on tour with mini-concerts taking place at Seven Stories in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Friday 10 November, The Lowry in Salford Quays on Friday 17 November and Cast in Doncaster on Wednesday 22 November. On Tuesday 21 November, it returns to Leeds when it will be the turn of the percussion players to showcase their instruments in the Howard Assembly Room.
Opera North’s families programme is supported by The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation. Opera North’s education work is supported by the Opera North Future Fund and The Whitaker Charitable Trust. Activities in Salford are supported by the Sir John Fisher Foundation.
Photo credit: Justin Slee