A miraculous thingaling

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Elliot Cina, 10, who did the slide show for Tubby the Tuba and Frances Rae, who made some of the models for the show near the display in the foyer at the Nelson Symphony Orchestra's A Concert for Children at the Nelson School of Music.

Nelson Symphony Orchestra Children’s concert. Tubby the Tuba and The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. Saturday May 16. Nelson School of Music. Reviewed by Jessica Moser, Ruth Allison and others.

When I agreed to do a review of the NSO Children’s concert, I forgot, for a while, that I was not a child and that maybe the voice of children would be more appropriate. So I invited Jessica Moser (11) to accompany me. She came with notebook and pen and here is our review:

Tubby the Tuba was a big hit with everyone in the audience. The Nelson Symphony Orchestra played beautifully.  The conductor, Mick Dowrick had an excellent command of the orchestra and kept everyone in time. Narrator, Doug Brooks was brilliant. He was an amazing story teller. His wonderful rendition of the story coupled with the music had everyone believing Tubby was actually in the room. The slideshow by Elliot Cina was great.  It went really nicely with the story and the music. The whole thing was brilliant.

The Carnival of the Animals was tuneful and compelling. Peta Spooner’s choreography ensured that her dancers looked like the animal in the music. This concert was specifically designed to cater to the musical interests of children and it didn’t disappoint.’

Jessica and I talked to Karl Newton (6) who liked the part when “the frog gave Tubby some good advice and Tubby felt happy” and his favourite part was when the violins joined in and let Tubby play the melody. Troy Newton (3) thought the “drums were awesome” and Oliver Handforth (5) “liked it when the orchestra got angry”. Charlotte Handforth’s (10) favourite part was ‘when Tubby played his own song’ but her ‘most favourite was the dancing’

The Nelson School of Music was full and buzzing with energy. Next to us 5 year old Oliver was telling his mother the difference between the violins and the ‘cellos, “a ‘cello is way bigger”. The NSO players enjoyed their roles as Peewee the Piccolo and Samuel Pizzicato and the children laughed when the ‘trumpet snickered and the trombone stuck out his tongue’. Karl liked the clarinet cuckoo-ing in Carnival of the Animals, and thought ‘kangaroo meringues’ would taste awful.

Wine and flowers were a well deserved gift to the dance troupe and members of the orchestra who took such pleasure at entertaining an enthusiastic, young audience. Thankyou  Jessica, Karl, Troy, Oliver and Charlotte. It is heartening to see young people enjoying an orchestra. To misquote Ogden Nash whose verses accompanied the animals of Saint Saens’ amusing ‘Grand Zoological Fantasy, music is ‘a miraculous thingaling’.

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