What a fabulous (and noisy) program. We all went to the inaugural show yesterday in Red Bank. The NJ Symphony Orchestra did a matinee performance for kids before their grownup show last night. This is the first event at Count Basie, but I think I’ve seen this elsewhere around the state. Maybe NJPAC?

So the show was at 4pm, but for the hour beforehand they had crafts and music demos in the lobby. Kids could touch the instruments, and I saw at least one member of the symphony playing for the kids. This was a huge highlight, Hannah adored the pre-show stuff. She played all the instruments available in the lobby, but she loved the violin the most.

no shush 2

no shush 3

no shush 4

The performance itself was pretty great, an hour-long explanation of the different orchestra sections (wind, strings, woodwinds). The kids were noisy and wiggly and free to be noisy and wiggly, and I really dug that. But, all the youngest people in the crowd (mine included) were antsy. Hannah escaped and ran up and down the aisles a few times, but so did every other tiny human. That was the idea, a “no shushing” concert for kids to learn about music.

I think the show itself was most appealing to elementary school-aged kids; if it had been a solid concert with less talking, Hannah would have danced and clapped and loved it. She drifted during the talking.

But she was so taken with the old theatre itself, and seeing people up on a stage, that the overall experience was 100% worth it. We’ll do this again (and again), and as she gets older she’ll grow into a fuller appreciation of it. I thought it was pretty splendid for the cost of going to the movies, and a bunch of local families we knew turned out to be there.