On Sunday, April 24, Assistant Director 1st Lt. Ryan J. Nowlin and the Marine Band will help kids and families discover all the instruments that make up a concert band, their families, and all the silly, fun, and beautiful sounds they make, in this year’s Young People’s Concert: Meet the Band. The colorful concert, which is catered to children and families but open and entertaining for all, will take place at 2 p.m. in Northern Virginia Community College’s Schlesinger Center in Alexandria. Admission is free and free parking is available in the adjacent garage.
“The whole goal of this special concert is to help kids recognize individual instrument sounds and how those sounds are used in the band,” Nowlin said. Throughout the interactive, family-friendly program, Nowlin, a former music educator, will lead the audience on an exploratory journey to discover all the incredible musical colors made by the concert band. During the performance, the band will demonstrate the differences in the instrumental families—from woodwinds to brass to percussion—and analyze each of the individual instruments through such musical examples as Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, John Williams’ music from Star Wars, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” and John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Kids will soon learn why a brass mouthpiece makes a funny buzzing sound and why an oboe double reed makes a crow-like sound when played alone.
During the second half of the program, Nowlin will bring all of the instruments together and demonstrate how composers collect all the unique sounds of the band to make beautiful music. Just like artists use a combination of colors to create a painting, composers use the unique colors of music made by the different instruments to craft a musical masterpiece.
Following the concert, children will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the instruments they just learned about as Marine Band musicians host an instrument “petting zoo” in the lobby and allow kids to try many of the instruments for themselves!