St. Olaf Orchestra to present a family concert fit for all ages

Steven Amundson conducts the St. Olaf Orchestra during the ensemble’s recent tour of Argentina and Uruguay. This Sunday, they will present a Family Concert at St. Olaf.

The St. Olaf Orchestra, conducted by Steven Amundson, will present a Family Concert on Sunday, November 11, at 3:30 p.m. in Boe Memorial Chapel.

The concert is free and open to the public, and families and children of all ages are encouraged to attend this joyful event.

The performance opens with The Remarkable Farkel McBride by Bill Elliot and John Lithgow, followed by a classic, Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev. Both pieces will feature narration, performed by St. Olaf faculty members Dale Kruse and Karen Wilkerson, respectively.

“For this special concert for the young and the young-at-heart, I chose pieces that are especially fun and engaging for children of all ages,” Amundson says. “The Remarkable Farkel McBride is a wonderful story about a young child who explores playing all the instruments of the orchestra. It’s absolutely delightful! Peter and the Wolf is, of course, a timeless treasure. When I first heard it as a kid, it stirred my imagination and completely hooked me on music and the orchestra.”

“For this special concert for the young and the young-at-heart, I chose pieces that are especially fun and engaging for children of all ages.” — Steve Amundson

Sophia Spiegel, a senior at St. Olaf, will conduct A Disney Super Time, an arrangement of music from Mary Poppins by Robert Lowden. The concert will conclude with “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter, by John Williams, a beloved tune from one of the most iconic fantasy franchises in film and literature history.

At 3 p.m. 30 minutes before the concert members of the orchestra will host an “Instrument Petting Zoo” in front of the stage. Kids can get a close-up view of the instruments of the orchestra, learn fun facts about them, and hear their different sounds.

Young audience members (ages 6-13) may also enter a drawing at the start of the concert, the winner of which will take the podium to conduct a short piece with the orchestra.

About the St. Olaf Orchestra
The award-winning St. Olaf Orchestra is one of the premier ensembles at St. Olaf College, and was named the winner of the 2013 American Prize for Orchestral Performance among colleges and universities. Called “one of the best college orchestras in the nation” by Time magazine’s Richard Ostling, the St. Olaf Orchestra is known for its passionate music-making and professional-level performances.

About Steven Amundson
Steven Amundson joined the music faculty at St. Olaf College in the fall of 1981. Under his direction, the St. Olaf Orchestra has become recognized as one the finest undergraduate orchestras in the United States. In addition to his duties as conductor of the St. Olaf Orchestra, he teaches courses in conducting, aural skills, and music theory.

In addition to guest conducting many of this country’s All-State orchestras, Amundson has served as a guest conductor for the Interlochen National Arts Camp and several professional orchestras, including the renowned Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The award-winning conductor is also an active, commissioned composer. His orchestral works have garnered nearly 1,000 performances.