On Jan. 23, I had the opportunity to attend one of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Tiny Tots concerts with a group of friends. These concerts are held during the day in Heinz Hall as field trips for preschools. They tell a story and, throughout the story, different music is played that gets at the "feel" of that scene in the story. The conductor, at an age-appropriate level, describes the instruments, tempo and such.
Gwynne Hamill, the PSO's coordinator of education and community programs, graciously organized everything for us. We gave her names and she provided items to talk about before the concert with the kids, and she provided follow-up activities.
Jan. 23 was cold and many schools had delays. Since we all have older school-age children and had reservations for a 9:30 a.m. performance, this was problematic. Before the delay was announced, Ms. Hamill contacted us to see if we would like to switch to the 11:30 performance, knowing we may be stuck. What service!
The concert was lovely. It told the story of "Harold and the Purple Crayon: The Giant Garden." The PSO played wonderful music, and as you looked out into the audience, you could watch kids dancing, playing along on imaginary instruments, clapping and bouncing in laps. The staff was very well-organized, warm, welcoming and friendly. It was a lovely field trip for our little group, and we greatly appreciate how smoothly everything was handled and how well it was run. Of course, the PSO was magnificent. Thank you, Gwynne and the PSO! Hats off to you!