An exploration of a symphonic band, the different sounds of clarinets and saxophones of all sizes and a performance of the beloved story of “Peter and the Wolf” are among the winter offerings in the 2011-12 Kids Fare series at Northwestern University.

Presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the series of family-friendly hourlong Saturday morning concerts is geared toward children aged 3 to 8.

All of the following Saturday Kids Fare programs take place at 10:30 a.m. in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive on the University’s Evanston campus. Single tickets for each program are $6 for the general public and $4 for children and for students with valid IDs. Northwestern faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price.


• Jan. 21 – Bienen School Associate Director of Bands Timothy J. Robblee will conduct Northwestern’s “Simply Sensational Symphonic Band” program. The ensemble will celebrate the full power of brass, percussion and woodwinds in a variety of melodies, rhythms and styles. The program includes selections from Saint-Saens’ “The Carnival of the Animals,” narrated by Bienen School faculty member Bernard J. Dobroski.

• Feb. 18 – Members of the Bienen School’s Saxophone Ensemble and Northwestern clarinet students will demonstrate the diversity of single-reed instruments in a “Really Resonating Reeds” concert. From soprano and alto to baritone, bass and contrabass, the different saxophones and clarinets will provide a “feast” for the ears.

• March 10 – Chicago’s Merit School of Music Symphony Orchestra will bring the story of “Peter and the Wolf” to life in a performance titled “A Musical Merit-ocracy.” Since 1979, the Merit School of Music has helped children, especially those from economically disadvantaged families, to achieve their musical potential through group instruction, private lessons and ensemble performances. Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” a story for narrator and orchestral accompaniment, was commissioned in 1936 to cultivate musical appreciation in young children. The work, which introduces children to the instruments of the orchestra by associating them with an array of animal characters, has been adapted numerous times and enjoyed by children throughout the world.

For more information or to order tickets, visit the Pick-Staiger website.

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