PGSO show appeals to kids

According to sources deep inside PGSO's command centre, the musicians set to blast off on their next mission are having so much fun they are spacing out in rehearsals. They have been mooning over the material they get to perform for the city's kids.

This concert is the return voyage of the Starship PGSO. Last year, the musicians took the kids on a trip to the moon with Captain Klein, commander of the orchestra's brass section. This year, they will be returning to Earth in Captain Klein's Next Adventure.

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"It was our most popular concert of that series," said conductor Barbara Parker, the artistic director for the three-show children's series. "This year, Captain Klein will have another, very different adventure. All this fun is, of course, directed at the children in our community. But we have also found that sometimes the parents and grandparents appear to have at least as much fun as the kids during the performances."

These are dangerous space treks fraught with villains and phenomena that could suck the orchestra into a black hole or blast them into another dimension. Captain Klein and his crew stabilize the science and soothe the savage beasts with music. They use their wits and their instruments to complete the saga. Some familiar music from the outer limits will help set their course.

"The musical aspect of these productions is the most challenging," said Parker. "It takes time to find a variety of musical selections that represent different styles and musical periods, but will keep children engaged. Then, each piece must be edited to an ideal time limit of a minute or two. The goal is to engage and expose, but we have to keep in mind the short attention span in the audience."

This series of kinder concerts has become a popular attraction for the PGSO each year, with one concert focusing on percussion, one focusing on strings and woodwinds, and one focusing on the brass instruments. Each one has a storytelling structure built around it.

"We can't wait to continue this series into the future and see where it takes all of us," said Parker.

"The process has been fun, but also challenging. It is fun thinking like a kid again, and writing material that will make them laugh, entertain them, and educate them without it being obvious that they are being educated. I love creative projects, developing support characters and finding props to help with messages and story lines."

Captain Klein's Next Adventure blasts off on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Prince George Playhouse. The musicians and the kids are all stars in this kinder event. Book passage on this musicianship by logging on to the Central Interior Tickets website.

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