Verde Valley Sinfonietta creates Kids' Concert Club

Anna Han

Anna Han

The Verde Valley Sinfonietta Kids' Concert Club is thriving. What began as an educational outreach children's program has become a very well attended informal free event for the whole family. Initially, only one Kids Concert was held each season.

Because of the generous funding of the Arts and Culture Commission of the City of Sedona, the Sinfonietta was able expand the program and offer three of these special events per season. Clarinet soloist Alexander Laing and soprano soloist Maranda Childs were featured at the first two concerts of the 2009-10 Season.

Each Kid's Concert Club event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a light supper, so that working parents can attend an early rehearsal without worrying about preparing a meal. At 6 p.m., the visiting guest soloist, and music director, David Cripps, talk briefly to the children about the featured soloist's instrument, what each section of the orchestra does and the role of the orchestra conductor.

The soloist answers questions the children and parents may have about their training or the music they will perform. At 6:30 p.m., the orchestra begins the final rehearsal for the upcoming weekend's concert. Sinfonietta conductor, David Cripps, introduces each piece of music to the families by talking about the composer and period of history during which the music was composed.

He explains concert etiquette and the need for silence during the rehearsal. Parents appreciate that this comes from the conductor, and they help their children remain quiet and attentive.

The informal setting is greatly appreciated by families of younger children with shorter attention spans, who may quietly leave at appropriate break points.

In recognition of the continuing value to families of the greater Sedona area, the next Kid's Concert Club is funded in part by the Sedona Community Foundation. The upcoming Kid's Concert Club event will be Thursday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m., at the Rock of Ages Lutheran Church, 390 Dry Creek Road, Sedona.

This concert is extra special in that it is the prelude to the Sinfonietta's annual Emerging Artist events.

This year the soloist is Anna Han, a 15-year-old Arizona pianist who has been featured in a "From the Top" Show broadcast on National Public Radio in 2008 and 2009.  Anna also is a winner of numerous national and international piano competitions.

In 2009, she played with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in their "I want to be a Bach Star" concert.  She will be performing the Schumann Piano Concerto in the Sinfonietta's homage to the 200th anniversary of Schumann's birth. Picazzo's is generously donating pizza and salad for supper. Although the event is free to children and their parents, space is limited and reservations are required. You can reserve by e-mailing info@VerdeValleySinfonietta.org or calling 928-282-3066 before April 19.

The Emerging Artist concerts featuring pianist Anna Han will be Saturday, April 24, 7 p.m., at Emmanuel Fellowship in Cottonwood, and Sunday, April 25, 2:30 p.m., at Rock of Ages Lutheran Church in Sedona.

In addition to the Schumann Piano Concerto, the Sinfonietta will perform two shorter works by Ravel and Beethoven's 8th Symphony. The annual Soiree for the Sinfonietta follows the concert on Sunday, and will be hosted at the signature Sedona home of Evelyn and Anthony Winkel. Barron Unger will provide a supper smorgasbord and Anna Han will perform, in celebration both of the Sinfonietta's fifth anniversary and the 100th birthday of the Winkel's Steinway grand piano.

For more information about the Soiree please call 928-284-4302 or email info@VerdeValleySinfonietta.org

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