Symphony spellbinds CreeksidePublished 11:09pm Friday, May 3, 2013
Creekside Elementary School students learned some life lessons, and also about classical music, when members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra performed Aesop’s Fables at the school Friday.
Organized by the school’s parent-teacher association, the visit involved two instruments, a violin and a cello, creating evocative background music to narration by Marsha Staples, the symphony’s director of education and community engagement.
It is the second consecutive year the symphony has visited Creekside. The last visit included performances of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” and “The Three Little Pigs.”
“I just called up Marsha and said we want to do another presentation this year,” said PTA President Leila Baccouche-Nadeau, adding she had requested “something geared toward young kids.”
Students sat on the floor in the school auditorium for the intimate performances, one for kindergarten to second grade and another for third to fifth grade.
The musicians were mere feet away from students in the front row. Many students showed their appreciation of the musicianship with some enthusiastic air violin and cello.
“Does anyone know what that instrument is?” Staples asked students before the first performance got under way.
“I think I heard, ‘The cello.’ They are going to be playing while I tell some stories that have great lessons to them.”
Staples used props — various soft toys and even a pitcher and pebbles for “The Crow and the Pitcher” — as she narrated Aesop’s well-known fables.
The writer is believed to have lived in ancient Greece between about 620 and 560 B.C. His long list of children’s fables, like “The Boy who Cried Wolf” and “The Cat and the Mice,” teach universal lessons just as relevant today.
“The lesson of this story is, you have to be able to handle the strength of anything you go after,” was Staples’ summary of “The Dog Who Chased a Lion.”
Other lessons the ensemble communicated through music and Aesop’s Fables included the importance of being happy with what you are given, thinking one’s way out of tricky situations and using many small steps to conquer large tasks.