Over 1,800 students in grades K-5 experienced a live symphony orchestra this spring when the Livermore-Amador Symphony performed at school assemblies. Thirty volunteers presented concerts at Dougherty and Frederiksen Elementary Schools in Dublin and Hearst and Mohr Elementary Schools in Pleasanton. Music Director Lara Webber conducted. The orchestra’s harpist brought her instrument to share with the students. High school student and cellist Alexander Canicosa-Miles, a winner of the Livermore-Amador Symphony’s 2018-2019 Competition for Young Musicians, joined the orchestra as well. In addition to classical music, selections included the Star Spangled Banner and Star Wars—The Force Be With You, music guaranteed to delight the young audiences.

Livermore-Amador Symphony board member Carol Boster remarked, “The symphonic sound filled the multi-purpose rooms with rich harmonic sounds full of rhythms appreciated by elementary students. One could watch them wave their arms quietly to the beat or tap their laps, or even lightly clap to the piece.”

The programs were tied in with the Common Core curriculum emphasizing critical thinking, imagery and storytelling through music. Webber said, “The concerts were about music as a language illustrating the similarities in grammar and phrasing to spoken language. Music can ask and answer questions, create conversations that tell stories and convey emotions. Features included our marvelous young soloist Alexander age 15, playing Haydn and Paganini. He connected with the kids directly with his beautiful playing and answering questions. Members of our orchestra also played several solo cadenzas, including our harpist Constance Koo. Music ranged from Rossini’s “William Tell” Overture to music of Bizet, Faure and Star Wars. The students sang with us and eagerly participated, singing back melodies and rhythms when prompted by the orchestra.”

The Livermore-Amador Symphony has been performing at assemblies since 2015 and plans to bring similar programs to schools throughout the Tri-Valley in the coming years. This year’s concerts were made possible by several grants and were organized by the LAS Youth Outreach committee, led by Beth Wilson. In addition, musician Christine-Ann Immesoete, the orchestra’s principal horn, helped to arrange the Dublin assemblies and Carol Boster facilitated the Pleasanton concerts.

For more information about the Livermore-Amador Symphony, visit www.livermoreamadorsymphony.org.