The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces the Music Box Series, a unique new program for young children ages 6 months to three years old and their families.
Hosted by acclaimed actress, dancer and storyteller Maria Broom, the Music Box Series gives young children the chance to explore music through highly engaging and interactive performances. Each thirty minute concert promotes musical, motor and language development through bouncing, clapping, listening, singing and other hands-on activities. The concerts will feature the musical talents of a small ensemble of BSO musicians performing classical children's pieces to provide a captivating musical, social and educational experience for both children and their families. Each performance also features pre-concert activities hosted 30 minutes prior to the show by the BSO and partner organization Ready-at-Five, a non-profit that works to ensure that all Maryland children are ready to learn at age five. The wide range of pre-concert activities will encourage literacy, creative play and musical and listening skills. The three programs will take place this spring in the spacious lobby of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall: "Birdie Melodies" on Saturday, April 13; "Great Big Animals" on Saturday, May 4; and "Life in the Water" on Saturday, June 15. Concerts are offered at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and cost $9 for children and $9 for adults; there is a 20% discount with the purchase of all three concerts. Please see below for more information about purchasing tickets.
"The Music Box Series completes the BSO's full complement of educational activities," says BSO Vice President of Education Carol Bogash. "For years, the BSO's enriching music education offerings were available to children beginning as early as pre-K and up through adulthood. We're pleased to place the final piece in the BSO's educational framework and now offer a sensational program for the very young. Completing the first study of its kind, researchers at McMaster University have discovered that very early musical training benefits children even before they can walk or talk, and the BSO is eager to foster and stimulate that early interest with the Music Box Series' creative programs."
Birdie Melodies, April 13 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Birdie Melodies utilizes the lightness of flute, violin, viola and cello to create a musical aviary filled with delightful notes imitating cuckoos, robins and ducks. The audience has the chance to dance, sing, listen and play during this interactive performance and the concert will also introduce children to the works of Beethoven and Mozart at an early age.
Great Big Animals, May 4 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Great Big Animals recreates the exciting and grand nature of elephants, bears and other great big animals through a brass quintet. Children and their parents can bounce, clap and move along to the music of Brahms and Handel as it comes alive in this wild setting. In addition to movement, all of the programs emphasize listening time, in which children are encouraged to match instrumental sounds to animal sounds.
Life in the Water, June 15 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Life in the Water is a sea of musical delight created by an ensemble of BSO musicians playing piano, bass, violin, viola and cello. Children have the chance to clap, bounce and dance as they dive into the music of Saint-Saëns and Schubert's Trout Quintet.
Maria Broom is an actress, dancer and storyteller. She has completed a breadth of work in film, television, media, dance, theatre, therapy and education. Ms. Broom had a recurring role on HBO's The Wire, HBO's mini-series The Corner and also appeared in NBC's Homicide: Life on the Streets and The West Wing. Ms. Broom has starred in numerous theatre productions in Baltimore and beyond including Center Stages' Les Blancs, Theatre Hopkins' Racing Demon/Pericles, and Henry Street Playhouses' Pass It On.
Ms. Broom currently works as an Instructor in the Theater Department of Baltimore School for the Arts. She also works as "The Story Mother" telling stories at schools, libraries, camps, conferences and more. Her other work includes teaching therapeutic dance classes and stress management to women, children and veterans. Additionally, Ms. Broom performed in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Women of the World (WOW) Festival in 2012.
Ms. Broom received a Fulbright Scholarship from Morgan State University to Berlin Dance Academy. She also attended UCLA where she studied the dance arts of Bali, India, Japan and Java, and she received her Masters in Dance Therapy from Goucher College. Ms. Broom was the former dance artist in residence at Fisk University of Nashville, Tennessee, and has served as a guest instructor at various schools including Johns Hopkins University, MICA, Peabody Preparatory and Vanderbilt University.