October 22, 2007

School of Music to present 'Halloween Pops'

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Treat this – the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra of Southern Illinois University Carbondale presents two in-costume performances on Oct. 31 that can fit in with Halloween plans for anyone who loves music and a good story.

The evening concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Shryock Auditorium on the SIUC campus. The highlight performance is Sergei Prokofiev's famous children's composition, "Peter and the Wolf," narrated by WSIL TV Channel 3 personality Edan Schultz. The story is one of cleverness, courage and compassion. There are tense moments, but no real terror as the young hero, Peter, declining to follow his grandfather's wise injunction to avoid a nearby meadow for fear of marauding wolves, captures just such a wolf with the help of a bird he has befriended. Peter saves the wolf's life from hunters who would kill it, and leads a procession that takes the wolf to live in a nearby zoo.

The introduction of the characters in the story serves as an introduction to instruments in the symphony. The narrator explains, for example, that the flute represents the bird, the bassoon the grandfather, the French horn the wolf, strings for Peter and so on.

In addition to the Prokofiev selection, special guests the Carnegie Hall-bound SIUC School of Music Wind Ensemble, along with the Jazz Band, Concert Choir and SIUC Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theater, present their own versions of a musical Halloween. The concert concludes with a "sportscast" of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony by Saluki Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Reis.

The performers will be in costume and they invite the audience to wear their Halloween costumes as well. Refreshments and a costume contest add to the festive, family friendly atmosphere.

Tickets are $15, ($6 for all students, kindergarten through college). Buy tickets online by following the links to Ticket Master from www.siuc.edu/shryock, buy them in advance at the SIU Arena or Student Center ticket offices or the day of the performance at Shryock Auditorium.

Those with very young children have an opportunity to catch the highlights earlier in the day. Carbondale's Morning Etude Club hosts a just-for-kids preview of the Halloween Pops concert. Again, costumes are part of the fun. There is a $2 fee for the performance, which begins at 1 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Shryock Auditorium.

Four musicians will preview "Peter and the Wolf," reading the story and playing selections from it, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 27 at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Carbondale. This performance is free and open to the public.