FLORENCE — For the third concert of its season, the Shoals Symphony at UNA will perform music aimed at families.
A Family Concert is set for 2 p.m. Sunday in Norton Auditorium on the University of North Alabama campus and has been put together to appeal to both the young and the old.
Carole M. Maynard, events coordinator in UNA’s Department of Music and Theatre, said all of the elements are geared with an educational theme, and that starts with the symphony’s first performance of the afternoon, Benjamin Britten’s “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.”
“It’s simply that, a guide to the different parts of the orchestra, the strings, the brass and so forth,” Maynard said.
“Each piece highlights the orchestra sections individually and together. So it’s almost like a teaching tool of what makes up the orchestra.”
Next on the program, the winners of the UNA Collegiate Artist Solo Competition will be featured.
Maynard said Ian McCollum will perform “Symphonic Variants for Euphonium and Orchestra,” by James Curnow on the euphonium.
The other winner, Andrew Mills, will sing an aria from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” called “Che farò senza Euridice,”
“This is a direct tie to UNA and the education aspect of what we do with the Shoals Symphony,” Maynard said.
For the final piece, Florence High School’s orchestra will join the symphony to perform highlights from “Phantom of the Opera.”
Daniel Jamieson, orchestra director at Florence High School, said there will be about 15 to 20 students performing the medley.
Seeing high school students performing classical music will show young people in the audience that classical music isn’t just for the older crowd.
“Typically classical music, you don’t think of young people, you think of old people in tuxedos and white wigs,” Jamieson said. “Florence city schools are one of the few in the state that has an orchestra. This is a good opportunity to reach out to young students and get them interested in what classical music and what classical music is.”
Maynard said there are professional musicians who play in the Shoals Symphony along with UNA faculty members and students.
The variety of ages, along with seeing the high school students performing, helps cement the concert’s goal as being a family concert.
“It’s definitely a great concert to bring younger children to,” Maynard said. “And they can try to pick out the different parts of the orchestra ... and see the different age groups on stage.”
Seeing the concert be performed and to be able to read the program and learn about the history will also help cultivate an appreciation for the art, Jamieson said.
“One thing about classical music, you have to understand the story behind why it was written,” Jamieson said. “It’s different than modern music where you’ve got kids who just listen for the beat or what the music sounds like. And you’ve got lyrics so you can understand what the story is about.”
In classical music, Jamieson said, it’s all music with no lyrics so someone has to explain the background.
“Young people listen to classical music and they don’t understand the why, and they find it boring,” Jamieson said. “If we reach out to young people and help them understand the message and history behind it that will go a long way.”
A Family Concert admission is $15 for adults, and $5 for students. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence.
For details, visit una.edu/music-theatre.
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@TimesDaily.com.