Music’s Annual Children’s Concerts Delight Standing-Room Only Crowds

Last month, CFA’s Department of Music presented the 19th Annual Concerts of Music for Children, highlighting music by Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Irving Fine, Marc Blitzstein, Karen Tanaka and Koichi Kishi, with performances by members of the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC) and LMU’s chamber and percussion ensembles. LMU opera students are also featured as part of this delightful and uplifting program, which was performed to a standing-room only crowd in two performances this January.

Featured LMU music faculty included flutist Rik Noyce, percussionist Aaron Smith, pianist Tania Fleischer and violinist Ken Aiso. Artwork by students from the LMU Family of Schools accompanied the music and were displayed in the George A.V. Dunning Courtyard during the intermission receptions. This rich and varied music and dance event is completely free and never fails to enchant both children as well as those young at heart in attendance.

The performance started with a bang with LMU’s percussion ensemble performing “Junk Funk” by Mario Gaetano on found objects such as cardboard boxes, paint cans, metal sheets, and pipes. The Sinatra Opera Workshop then performed the “Rain Quartet” from Regina by Marc Blitzstein, followed by the “Sonata for Flute and Piano” by Francis Poulenc, accompanied by dancers from LACDC. After an intermission reception, the performance of “Childhood Fables for Grown-ups” by Irving Fine included artwork by young students at Cowan Elementary School, inspired by the fables. Children were then invited to the stage to participate in the violin and piano performance of “Dance of the Dragon” by Koichi Kishi and “Butterfly Beach” by Karen Tanaka. The program concluded with a dance of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, set to Petite Suite by Claude Debussy.

The concerts are sponsored by the College of Communication and Fine Arts’ Department of Music and funded by the Sinatra Opera Endowment.