Point of View

March 25, 2010, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Education

It was a perfect South Florida spring morning today as 77 buses from 73 Miami-Dade County Public Schools began to arrive at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall. At no charge, some 3,500 elementary school students came to hear the extraordinary Cleveland Orchestra perform one of its wildly popular programs based on the lives and music of the great composers. Today it was two performances of Classical Kids Live!’s Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, a tale of Vivaldi, Venice and violins, and winner of over a dozen awards for outstanding music education productions.

Miami-Dade County Elementary School students arrive at the Adrienne Arsht Center for The Cleveland Orchestra school concert. Photos by Manny Hernandez for the Arsht Center.


Students take their seats and get ready for the show! Photos by Manny Hernandez for the Arsht Center.

The students had prepared for this special day in their classrooms, with the help of CDs, study guides, and student newspapers created for this occasion. And the hall was already buzzing with anticipation as the kids took their seats throughout the main floor and tiers. Even before the show began they were enthralled by the spectacle of the theater itself, as teachers pointed out the state-of-the-art acoustical dome, doors, and panels.  And lots of questions were asked about the paintings on stage that set the scene for the story with lovely depictions of Venice’s most famous sights.

Adrienne Arsht Center staff welcome students to the Knight Concert Hall. Photos by Manny Hernandez for the Arsht Center.

As the Cleveland players entered the stage, the kids cheered, and as the lights went down, professional actors took their places to begin the musical tale of Katarina, a young violinist, who is sent to study music at the great Pieta orphanage in seventeenth century Venice, where she is taught by the famous music director and composer Antonio Vivaldi. As the story unfolded Katarina searched for clues to her own past and to a vanishing Stradivarius violin, while the orchestra played more than 20 excerpts of Vivaldi’s most popular and important works including The Four Seasons, the Violin Concerto in A Minor, and more.

Photos by Manny Hernandez for the Arsht Center.

When the mystery was solved and the music came to an end, the young audience burst into applause and jumped to their feet. For many of them, this outing to the Adrienne Arsht Center served as their introduction to live orchestra music – an experience they will never forget.

Photos by Manny Hernandez for the Arsht Center.

Vivaldi’s Ring of Fire, just one of the many education and outreach programs which are part of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency, is presented by the Musical Arts Association of Miami and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.  The Cleveland Orchestra Education Concerts in Miami, as well as related curriculum materials and professional development workshops for teachers, are supported in part by a National Endowment for the Arts Access to Artistic Excellence grant.

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