Sharing the Joy of Music

GWU Symphony Orchestra Performs Popular and Classic Songs for Local School Children

Sharing the Joy of Music

Each year, the Gardner-Webb Department of Music introduces local fifth-graders to instrumental music performed by the GWU Symphony Orchestra. This year, they also played for middle and high school students at Pinnacle Classical Academy in Shelby, N.C.

Cellist Kenzie Quattlebaum looks forward to performing for the children. “The joy that the children display is what I enjoy the most,” she shares. “It is incredible that by playing for 50 minutes, you begin to see children who apathetically entered the concert hall transform into eager students ready to learn what music truly is and that music is not boring or stodgy, but it is as thrilling as it is moving, as exciting as it is serious, and as calming as it is frightening.”

Before the concert, music teachers in the schools teach their students about orchestral instruments and famous composers. The children see everything they learned in class played out on the stage. The children are also introduced to vocal music with a performance by GWU Voice Instructor Jondra Harmon. Sparti even invites a couple of lucky students up to the stage to conduct one of the final pieces.

The concert combines music from movies, such as “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws,” “Superman,” and “Frozen,” with excerpts from the classics: Saint-Saens “Tortoise,” Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40,” Beethoven’s “5th and 9th Symphonies” and others. “We incorporate an interactive aspect to the concerts, explaining to the children what each instrument is and what it sounds like,” Quattlebaum describes. “Costumes and stage acts coincide with several of the pieces to keep the children entertained. Our goal is to get them excited about music, to show them anyone can do it, and let them see how a group of individuals playing different instruments come together to create a world of symphonic sound.”

Learn more about the GWU Department of Music