NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 15, 2012

An elephant, teddy bears, and classical music

Symphony by the Sea holds family concert in Newburyport

As part of its plan to introduce the younger generation to classical music, Symphony by the Sea is once again holding a family concert during Thanksgiving weekend.

And, as part of its mission to reach out more to its Newburyport audiences, the concert will be held at Newburyport City Hall on Friday, Nov. 23.

Each season, the 35-member orchestra performs its shows in both Newburyport and Marblehead, but with many of its members from the Marblehead area, much of its attention has been rooted there. This season, the symphony is working to change that and has been reaching out to Newburyport organizations and groups in hopes of increasing its presence here.

“Newburyport and its nearby communities are an important focus for our regular season performances at The Governor’s Academy, and it was a natural extension to bring our family concert to this area,” board member Matthew Sagal wrote in an e-mail.

The hour-long family concert will begin at 3 p.m. on the day after Thanksgiving. Organizers chose the day in hopes of appealing to families looking for ways to spend the long holiday weekend together.

Storyteller Judith Black will serve as a narrator for “The Story of Babar,” as she is accompanied by the symphony. The story will be set to music by Poulenc.

“Babar is a much loved story, familiar to the kids ... and it’s been set to music, most notably by Poulenc,” Sagal wrote. “In addition to a fun hour, we want to introduce the kids to classical music as a joy … and this piece, along with the other musical selections will do that.”

Written in 1931 by a French writer, the tale of Babar the elephant was later translated for American audiences. It chronicles the adventures of a young elephant who loses his mother and has to escape hunters. As he flees, he leaves the jungle and finds himself in the big city. As the story continues, the audience will learn how he finds his way back home and what happens when he gets there.

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