Mozart Festival's Music for Young People - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mozart Festival's Music for Young People

Shelburne, Vermont - July 20, 2008

Under a soaking rain, people gathered under a tent in Shelburne to soak up some music.

Raindrops tapping the roof created an extra percussion section, while inside, kids kept rhythm as the Helen Sung Trio performed. "Everyone's always talking about classical music as being for an older generation," said Tim Riddle, Executive Director of the Vermont Mozart Festival. "Honestly, I think it's just that we're not doing enough in our schools as in the past, so we're losing some of these kids."

But they were finding them here. Sunday was the first performance of this year's Mozart Festival series for young people. Organizers said it's a way to reach out to families -- it featured some of the same musicians as the festival's regular concerts, but at a fraction of the ticket price. The performances were also geared toward kids, designed to entertain and educate.

"Probably the biggest part of jazz is that we improvise," pianist Helen Sung told the crowd of 250 people. She explained that improv is a conversation, but instead of using words, the language is music.

"This is really cool," said 12-year-old Lindsey Lowell. Riddle said kids like her are not just the festival's future audience, they may be its future performers.

"I play flute and like all kinds of music," Lowell said. And that will keep the festival humming for another generation.

"Getting them engaged early fosters a lifelong appreciation," Riddle said.

The Mozart Festival's series for young people continues for the next two weeks, with looks at other forms of instrumental music. Concerts are Sunday mornings at 11:00 on the grounds of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company in Shelburne. More information is available online at http://www.vtmozart.com 

Kate Duffy - WCAX News

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