The Cascade Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will present its annual Children’s Concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. The concert, originally scheduled to be held at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, will be presented online. The format has been changed due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in Washington state.
It was for the safety of children, parents and the general public that the Cascade Symphony decided to make the change away from an in-person concert, according to Ruth McFadden, president of the CSO’s board of directors.
She said that the Children’s Concert is suitable for kids of all ages, but is created especially for youth ages 5 to 12. The event’s theme is “Carnival of the Animals.”
“Despite the change to a virtual format, we have a quality concert for children,” McFadden said. “On the plus side, the virtual concert is free, thanks to a grant from the City of Edmonds and the generosity of Cascade Symphony donors and patrons.”
The program will provide musical instrument demonstrations and a performance by the Cascade Percussion Ensemble, led by Ian Alvarez. The presentation will also feature participatory music lessons for elementary-age students.
“We have prepared an amazing program featuring the most exotic section of the symphony orchestra – the percussion section,” said Michael Miropolsky, music director of the Cascade Symphony, who curated the performances.
The Miropolsky-led orchestra, accompanied by narrator Dave Dolacky, will play music from French composer Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals.”
The concert will feature the winner of the Cascade Symphony’s 2020-21 “Rising Star” competition, 16-year-old cellist William Miguel Johnson of Issaquah. The young virtuoso will perform Austrian composer Joseph Haydn’s “Cello Concerto in C Major.”
Johnson, a student at Apex Virtual High School, made his concert debut in 2019 with the Eastside Symphony and was invited to perform at the 2020 Piatagorsky Festival in Los Angeles. A member of the Seattle Youth Symphony, Johnson has won several awards, including a national prize. He also is a composer.
The public can join the Feb. 5 event, beginning at 3 p.m., by visiting either of two online sites. One is via the CSO’s website at cascadesymphony.org/virtual. The other link is on the orchestra’s YouTube channel. After the virtual concert is streamed, it will remain available for on-demand public viewing via these same links.
The Edmonds-based Cascade Symphony Orchestra has been promoting young musicians and encouraging music education in the schools for many years, according to Holly Sullivan, longtime orchestra member and chair of its “Rising Star” program. The competition is for pianists and violinists 12-years-of-age and younger on the day of the concert, and musicians 15 and younger of other symphonic instruments.
While admission to this virtual concert is free, the Cascade Symphony welcomes donations of any amount. To donate, visit cascadesymphony.org/donate/.
The Cascade Symphony plans to return to its normal in-person concert format for its next event, on Monday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
Further information and updates about the Cascade Symphony Orchestra can be found online at www.cascadesymphony.org.