The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 24, 2014

Huntsville Symphony Orchestra to present free family concert at Beasley Center

By Lora Scripps
lora@athensnews-courier.com

— Music matters.

And that’s one reason the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra is offering a free family concert for the first time in Athens.

The orchestra, which will present Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and two Mozart selections, is being conducted by Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Music Director Gregory Vajda.

“Peter and the Wolf,” a piece that tells the story of a young boy and a vicious wolf, has long been considered a classical musical piece enjoyable to both children and adults.

The family concert is being hailed as “delightful” and “a wonderful way to introduce young people to instruments and music of a symphony.”

The orchestra’s production of “Peter and the Wolf” will start at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Beasley Center at First United Methodist Church in Athens.

The concert, sponsored by Reliance Bank, Limestone Drug Company and Latham Moffatt, P.C., is free to all ages in Athens and Limestone County.

“The free family concert allows parents to bring children of all ages to enjoy the symphony and the concert,” Rosemary Latham said, adding the concert follows the Young People’s Concerts for fourth-grade students. Students from Athens, Cowart, Brookhill and Julian Newman elementary schools will attend the concerts Thursday and Friday at the VBC in Huntsville along with students from Creekside, Tanner and West Limestone. 

Students have been attending the concerts for more than 15 years, according to Latham.

“We are very excited,” Dorrie Nutt, who plays French horn with the orchestra, said. “We always had the idea we would like to bring music out of the concert hall and into the community … We have a lot of interested patrons. It is great to go to a small town and play music.”

About the conductor

Vajda, a native of Budapest and son of renowned soprano Veronika Kincses, has conducted the Montreal Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony Orchestra and in 2009 was appointed artistic and music director of Music in the Mountains in Nevada City, Calif. — only the second conductor to hold the position in the festival’s 28-year history.

He studied clarinet and conducting at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music

“This season is about voices,” Vajda said on the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra’s website. “Every instrument in the symphony has its own unique voice and this season we will showcase some of those beautiful voices through solos and guest artist performances. But for some of our performances, we’ll add the human voice, one of the most beautiful musical instruments in the universe. The season promises to be varied, entertaining and vocal — in every way.”