Dear Music Lovers,

As the Longmont Symphony prepares for its annual Family Concert on January 19, I find myself looking forward to this performance in a very different way than most of our other performances.  While the music is as beautiful as any of our other concerts, the musical selections and guest artists have all been chosen to engage, entertain, and inspire our young audience members to fall in love with live symphonic music.

The main event for our Family Concert will be the world premiere of Michael Close’s A Child’s Book of Animals. This work brilliantly weaves humor into the music through the orchestra imitating the sounds of animals. It is incredible – and funny – how Mr. Close makes the orchestra sound like a frog or gives the impression that we are soaring through the air like a bird. For the last animal depiction, the composer employs rap music to describe the elegance (and attitude) of a swan. All I can say is I can hardly wait to have a rapper performing live with the LSO!

We are thrilled to welcome back the incredible young musicians of the Longmont Youth Symphony who will be sitting side by side to the seasoned members of the LSO to perform Tchaikovsky’s energetic Finale from his Symphony No. 5. Being seated beside the experienced LSO musicians is such a great way not only for the student musicians to be inspired and to gain more experience, but also to show our young audience members the level of excitement, camaraderie, fun, and joy that comes from performing your instrument.

We will be performing a second world premiere on this performance, Elegy, which was composed by Colorado resident, William Limon. This performance is made particularly special because William’s brother, John, will be performing in the orchestra as we bring this piece to life for the first time.  Elegy was dedicated to their mother, who passed away at the age of 97; however, by instilling an early love of music in all of her children, their mother’s legacy lives on. The work features a solo string quartet representing the individual, juxtaposed by a full string orchestra that describes the support of the community.

Lastly, we are so happy to be welcoming this year’s Young Artist Competition Winner, Bethany Parker, to the stage to perform the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12. Bethany is quite an exceptional young woman. Besides being an accomplished pianist, she also led the SVVSD Middle School Honors Orchestra from the violin, sings in a choir, and is the youngest of 10 children. What I find so special about presenting our Young Artist Competition Winner is that it can be an inspiration for other young students to see what is possible through perseverance and hard work. Brava, Bethany! We are all looking forward to your performance!

Elliot Moore