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Karen Allendoerfer

Family Concert

February 23, 2009 at 12:06 PM

I always feel good after a concert.  In spite of the icky Boston weather, there is a warm glow and a real sense of community.  It's something, however, that I find very difficult to put into words.

This is the Arlington Philharmonic Society's 75th anniversary year.  There will be a big celebration at the POPS concert in June.  The family concert was at the Arlington town hall, and it was a full house.  The lighting there is much better than at the church we sometimes play in, but the acoustics are quite different.  The atmosphere is informal for the family concert, it is free of charge and there are a lot of kids.

I am finally getting the hang of this tuning thing:

(Except that I have to remember to say "winds AND BRASS.")

Every year the orchestra has a concerto competition for players 18 and under.  The winner plays at the family concert.  Last year's winner was Pei-Wen Liao, a really wonderful 14-year-old violinist from Juilliard.  This year's winner was an 11-year-old from Lexington, MA, just the next town over, named Yuki Beppu.  It is exciting to play with these young violinists before they become too famous!


From Tom Holzman
Posted on February 23, 2009 at 2:25 PM

The family concert sounds fantastic.  How exciting!  Is the Pops concert at the Shell?  If so, not only will the tuning be different, but so will everything else.  Good luck.


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on February 24, 2009 at 12:30 PM

No, we don't get to play at the shell.  The Pops concert is also in the town hall, but I like that venue.  It's nice while still being kind of cozy.


From Tom Holzman
Posted on February 24, 2009 at 8:43 PM

It's nice to have a venue you like so much.  I have never been to the Arlington Town Hall, so I am not familiar with it.  Probably a much better venue for your orch than the shell.  Playing outside raises a number of problems you do not want to deal with (e.g., wind can really make things tricky if they aren't already tricky enough).


From Terez Mertes
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 5:07 PM

 Sounds like a wonderful event. Nice to hear about these kind of things amid all the news of economic woes and subsequent downsizing/canceling of such events.


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 6:47 PM

That's definitely an upside to being a volunteer community organization:  low expenses.  Community orchestras are also a good alternative for families looking for concerts that don't break the bank, and where kids feel welcome.  Towards the end of the concert there was a little toddler, probably not much over a year old, crawling/walking along the first row of seats and getting close to the cellos (until her father took her back to her seat).  And, as we ended with the Strauss Thunder and Lightning Polka (I got the 8va), the conductor had the whole audience clapping along with it.  Some people might find it a little cheesy, but I love playing those crowd-pleaser pieces.

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