Letter to the editor:
The Albany Symphony Orchestra is undoubtedly one of the great cultural treasures of the Capital District, not only for its large adult audiences, but also for its youngest concertgoers.
For 30 glorious minutes at several Tiny Tots concerts this week, Conductor David Alan Miller, (a/k/a Cowboy Dave) and his talented musicians captivated the minds and hearts of hundreds of pint sized listeners, many between 3 and 5 years old, with others somewhat older. In lieu of standard children’s musical fare, the orchestra played excerpts from such diverse classics as Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz,” “Rossini’s William Tell Overture,” Bizet’s “Toreador Song,” Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance #5,” and even the toddler hit “Baby Shark.” The children were utterly enchanted – waving their arms, giggling, bouncing up and down, shivering during the ‘Big Hairy Scary Monster Dance,” playing imaginary instruments, wriggling their entire bodies, and clapping joyfully after every single piece. The program not only introduced the children to majestic music, but educated them as well, with Miller demonstrating each of the orchestra’s instruments with an appropriate piece, “Peter and the Wolf” style.
“Music can take you on the most exciting adventures,” enthused Maestro Miller. The children’s comments as they exited indicated their agreement. “I love it when they play instruments,” exclaimed 5-year-old Luca Hughes. “They’re all so different!” “Can I please come back next week?” 3-year-old Elijah Joye begged his mother.”Please!” Quite a thrilling morning for these happy little ones, the backbone of the orchestra’s future audience and perhaps its future musicians.