VSO does concerts just for kids - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

VSO does concerts just for kids

Burlington, Vermont - May 24, 2011

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is taking its talent on tour.

"I thought it was really great and I think woodwinds are great instruments," said Dale Henry, a fifth-grader.

And students are scoring the front row seats.

"I like when they played the song from Pocahontis, and I knew what it was so it made more sense," said Simon Mendenhall, a fifth-grader.

Tuesday musicians with the VSO put on a special concert for kids at Burlington's Champlain Elementary School. The stop is one of more than 220 designed to expose young people to professional musicians.

"It's the best, I can't even begin to tell you, especially when we have assemblies and the children are very close to us, you can watch their faces, and there is joy and they are just very engaged in what you're doing," said Janet Polk of the VSO.

This year the VSO is performing for more than 24,000 students in 134 communities.

"It's different than me being able to hold up a picture for them and playing a recording. It's a much different experience for them," said Betsy Greene, a music teacher at Champlain.

"You actually get to see them play and they show you their instruments and how they work," Mendenhall said.

Greene says the show helps fill an important need. "Here in Burlington we don't have an instrument program in the elementary schools, so it's really important for the students to get a sense of what those instruments can do and play."

It's exposure artists and educators hope spark a lifelong love for music starting at a very early age.

"Music is something you can do all your life and it makes you very happy," Polk said.

Filling students with dreams of one day taking to the stage themselves.

"Thank you very much and you guys are really great musicians," Henry said.

The Vermont Symphony tour continues Wednesday. The Edmunds and Flynn Elementary Schools are the VSO's next stops.

Keith McGilvery - WCAX News

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