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'Carnival of Animals' orchestra concert Nov. 12 invites children of all ages

Animated art with a lion, two swans, a squirrel, and a parrot with the words "Carnival of the Animals" printed.
Jesse Davis
"Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saens is part of Itasca Symphony Orchestra's concert on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023

Itasca Orchestra Strings Program hosts the family concert at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids. Featuring "curious critters waltzing, mythical firebirds, majestic fanfares."

GRAND RAPIDS — Itasca Orchestra Strings Program presents what they’re calling a wild concert adventure for the whole family Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids.

IOSP board member and viola player Jesse Davis was a guest on the Thursday KAXE Morning Show, along with pianists Eric Tran and Satako Hayami.

The concert includes “Carnival of Animals,” by Camille Saint-Saens, which includes 14 individual pieces, each one representing a different animal.

Tran said this composition has, “some of the most hilarious music and some of the most beautiful music for this combination of instruments.”

“I think one of my favorites ‘Aquarium,’ which you hear in movies and you can hear these sort of...colors almost going through the orchestra,” he added.

Although people of all ages would enjoy this concert, it’s really geared towards kids, with the 2 p.m. showtime.

“The pieces are fairly short, so the movements are really digestible for youngsters,” Davis said.

Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite animal. There will be a contest for the best costume.

Hayami said, “Oh, I love having kids in the audience. They are all usually very open-minded and we welcome that all the time.”

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