Musical Family Engagement
AFIPO’s Family Music Day returns to L.A. May 21 with Orli Shaham and Windsync
On May 21, the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Family Music Day returns to Los Angeles with a morning of musical engagement for children and their families.
The event, which benefits IPO’s KeyNote program, will feature internationally renowned concert pianist Orli Shaham and the Windsync wind quintet. All six musicians will join the children in an instrument “petting zoo” before performing a concert that encourages participation. The two-hour event, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, begins with check-in at 10:15 a.m. and concludes with a gourmet brunch.
“A big part of the Israel Philharmonic’s mission is music education,” said Danielle Ames Spivak, AFIPO West Coast Director. “In Israel, our KeyNote program annually educates more than 21,000 children of every race and religion. Family Music Day is a great opportunity to bring a little flavor, a little taste of the extraordinary music education that we do in Israel to supporters of the Israel Philharmonic in the United States.”
Orli Shaham’s last performance with the IPO was a decade ago in Israel. As she recently recalled in a phone interview from her home in New York, children played a surprising role at that concert.
“I was six or seven months pregnant with twins, and I remember really having to carefully navigate the keyboard,” she laughed. When her sons were 3 she was inspired to create “Baby Got Bach,” a music education program for preschoolers. Soon after she made the first of her several appearances at annual Family Music Days in New York.
“The premise is similar,” she said. “We let children get really excited about instruments and what those instruments are capable of doing. Then we have a show that is like a professional grown-up concert that allows them to participate.”
The musical pieces she has chosen for the May 21 Family Music Day, each approximately three minutes long, reward careful listening. In “West Side Story Suite,” young audience members will provide the spoken word “Mambo” where Leonard Bernstein had written for the orchestra to say it. In a solo piano piece that suggests a train making numerous stops, participation shifts to movement.
“They have to listen to the music to know what stop it is and then perform that stop’s specific movement,” Shaham said.
This is Shaham’s first L.A. Family Music Day and her second collaboration with the Houston-based Windsync, with whom she performed in a “Baby Got Bach” event at Princeton earlier this season.
“They’re a wonderful group with their own well-established educational work,” she said. “In New Jersey we combined our programming and the result was even more satisfying in terms of the musical quality and the level of audience engagement.”
If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or even neighbor children who can benefit from this unique and unforgettable program, please join us.
Keren & Mark Dorner, Shoshana & Joel R. Fogel, and Pamela & Mark Scott co-chair the event, which benefits KeyNote. The corporate sponsor is Splendid, the fashion firm at which Ms. Scott is Creative Director.
“I’ve said for years,” Shaham concluded, “that the popularity of music has only to do with the rate of exposure to it. When you expose kids and families to the music it so clearly wins them over every time.”
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