A good share of the 1,359 people who enjoyed the recent annual Holiday Magic concert of the Lee’s Summit Symphony were young parents of the dancers and singers performing with the orchestra. They brought with them grandparents and siblings of the performers, and everyone appeared to have a delightful time.
According to an audience survey, 29 percent were attending their first symphony concert. It’s difficult to find the time when the kids are young and involved in so many activities, and there’s research showing that attendance at classical concerts by 30-50 year-olds is increasingly limited by family obligations.
That’s a shame, because a classical concert experience is so enriching for all ages. Babies and children up to age 14 respond very well (until some kids decide it’s not cool), and adults in a large study reported that they are “transported” by the music. Other terms often used included “getting totally absorbed,” having “a spiritual experience,” “like meditation” during concerts. Furthermore, attendees report that concerts are romantic, an educational experience that makes you feel relaxed, renewed and at peace.
Who needs to feel romantic, relaxed, renewed and at peace more than young parents?
The Lee’s Summit Symphony insists that its concerts be accessible for all, so ticket prices are kept very affordable, especially if purchased in advance through Hy-Vee or www.lssymphony.org. Because students are often making the decision to play instruments in 4th and 5th grades, students in those classes are admitted FREE with a paying customer. Ticket costs should never be an issue.
The next concert, the Spring Classic, will be held at 7:30 on March 8th. A pre-concert lecture by Dr. Les Brothers of the University of Central Missouri at 6:30 p.m. will give insights into the pieces the orchestra will play, further enhancing our understanding and enjoyment when we hear the actual performance.
In the survey, 93 percent of Holiday Magic matinee attendees rated the quality of the performance very good or excellent, and 98 percent say they plan to attend again.
So, young families, we do hope you’ll come back for another enriching, romantic, relaxing, renewing, peaceful evening. See you at the Symphony!
Carol Rothwell is a member of the Lees Summit Symphony board of directors