Campus & Community

HRO strikes up the band for kids

2 min read
child with
Mieron Tecleberhan of the Peabody School tries out a violin. (Staff photos Rose Lincoln/Harvard News Office )

Sitting forward and big-eyed in their seats, or leaning back with eyes closed and only their ears open, a recent Sanders Theatre audience let the sounds of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms inspire them, amuse them, thrill them, bring them a momentary moment of peace. Nothing unusual about that – except in this case the audience of 400-plus consisted almost entirely of Cambridge elementary school students, their teachers, and chaperones. The free Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO) Children’s Concert is, according to the chair of the HRO outreach committee Johann Cutiongco ’06, “one of the most fun and meaningful events of the year.”Rachel Nolan ’07 shows off her violin to excited fourth-graders from the Amigos School.The children in the audience agreed: According to fourth grade teacher Sheila Donelen of the Amigos School, “… my class has not stopped talking about the concert. Some told me they want to take up the cello next year…. All of the students commented that this was the most awesome trip so far this year…. This was the first experience most children had listening to an orchestra.”The young Amigos School audience looks more than satisfied at the end of the show.Before and after the concert, members of the HRO strolled through the audience, stopping to talk to the kids about the orchestra, about their instruments, and about their own experiences with music. Some of the schoolchildren even got to take a turn at a brief debut solo on the violin or clarinet.