We have heard about the Fiddlesticks concerts for years, but never went to one. I supposed that it was a fairly friendly concert, with easy to catch onto tunes, and a cat mascot running around. but it turned out to be more.
My 2-year old son and I arrived at Heinz hall reasonably early, looking forward to whatever pre-concert offerings there may have been. But instead of the short performances we were used to on concert evenings, this was a full fledged activities fair. With crafts, musicians, singing, and dancing there was not a quiet corner in the place.
We watched Micah on Bass talking with the kids up close, Marylene and Meng on violas accompanying any and all who would join them with a kid sized violin. Rhian on piccolo teaching everyone all about the keys on a piccolo. Lawrence and Katy prepared the audience for their roles in singing and learning movements for songs from Mr. Rogers neighborhood as well as Fiddlestick’s favorite song. My son was enjoying going from place to place, wanting to look and hear whatever was in the next room.
And then the concert itself. It was a tour of Pittsburgh composers. As expected, it was full of pieces where that were easy to follow. What made it different was how the audience was rewarded for paying attention to the music and the stage. The most obvious example was the theme from the Pink Panther with Katy and Fiddlestick needing audience help, but it set the stage for the audience to be engaged with every piece, watching Fiddlestick interacting with the music on stage, and keeping them engaged with the music and performance.
I left with a tired and happy two year old who enjoyed his morning with the symphony. And looking forward to doing this again.