February 6, 2020 – 10:00 am & 12:00 pm
February 7, 2020 – 10:00 am
Tivoli Theatre – Chattanoga, TN
February 5, 2020
10:00 am & 12:00 pm
Conn Center – Cleveland, TN**
To learn more or to make reservations, contact Amy Morgan at 423.267.8583 ext 2100 or email@example.com.
The Orchestra Sings
Composers and musicians create melodies, which can be sung or played on instruments. When an orchestra plays these melodies, the orchestra sings. Students explore melody in a range of colorful orchestral repertoire, sing, play the recorder or a string instrument, compose, and perform in a culminating concert with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.
• Thomas Cabaniss’s “Come to Play”
and “To Make Words Sing”
• Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
• Brackett’s “Simple Gifts”
• Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the
New World,” second movement
• “Bought Me a Cat”
• Jim Papoulis’s “Oye”
• Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite
Please fill out the online form to reserve your seats! For more information contact Amy Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Cleveland performances are for Bradley County and Cleveland City schools, and for area home-school groups. Additional space may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis only after these groups have been scheduled.
For more than 30 years, Link Up—a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute—has paired orchestras with students in grades 3–5 at schools in their local communities to explore orchestral repertoire and fundamental musical skills, including creative work and composition, through a hands-on music curriculum. Students participating in Link Up attend a culminating concert where they sing and play the recorder or the violin with the orchestra from their seats. Since 2003, Carnegie Hall has partnered with professional, community, and university orchestras across the US and around the world to support their existing education programs, strengthen their partnerships with local schools, and provide high-quality curricula, resources, professional development, and additional support. In 2017–2018, Link Up will partner with more than 100 sites in the US, as well as in Canada, Brazil, Spain, Kenya, and Japan, to serve more than 400,000 students and teachers globally.
Just What Is A Composer?
A composer is a person who creates music, usually by writing it down or notating it in order for it to be performed.
Since people have been singing or making music, there have been composers. They are often divided into different groups based on when the person lived.
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Baroque Era composer
- Wolfgang Mozart, Classical Era composer
- Ludwig Van Beethoven, Romantic Era composer
- Johannes Brahms, Romantic Era composer
- Peter Tchaikovsky, Romantic Era composer
- Claude Debussy, Impressionist Era composer
- Aaron Copland, Modern Era composer
- George Gershwin, Modern Era composer
- John Williams, Living composer
Want to compose your own music? Click one of the buttons below to start composing!San Francisco Symphony – SFS Kids Cincinnati Public Radio Classics for Kids
Can only boys be composers? No way!
There are lots of girls who were composers like:
- Hildegard von Bingen, Medieval Era composer
- Fanny Mendelssohn, Romantic Era composer
- Clara Schumann, Romantic Era composer
- Amy Beach, Romantic Era composer
For a long time, many girls didn’t go to school or were not allowed to be a part of a music group, so they didn’t get a lot of chances to learn how to write or read music. But that has changed and girls are growing up composing their own music.
Click on the picture to learn more about these living female composers.
Musical Instruments and Families
What is a symphony orchestra?
A symphony orchestra is a large group of classically trained musicians who play together on a regular basis. There could be anywhere from 20 to 120 musicians in an orchestra (The CSO usually has 50-60 players on stage). In order to become a member of the orchestra, musicians must be the winner of a rigorous audition in front of their peers. Preparation for this level of competition can take years of study and most musicians have a college degree in music.
Within the orchestra there are “families” of instruments which have certain characteristics that make them alike. In Compose Yourself!, we’ll hear from each family and from each individual instrument.
Can you match where each instrument usually sits?
They all have strings stretched over a hollow wooden frame which can be plucked with the fingers or they can be rubbed with a bow. A bow is made of horsehair attached to a wooden stick. All String players press their fingers down on the strings to change the length of the part vibrating. This changes the sound and makes it higher.
The violin is the smallest and the highest pitched member of the string family.
The violin is also used in popular music and is an important instrument in bluegrass and country music. In country and bluegrass, the violin is often called a fiddle. Even though it has a different name, it’s the same instrument.
- Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
- Pierre Baillot (1771-1842)
- Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840)
- Boris Goldstein (1922-1987)
- Itzhak Perlman (b. 1945)
- Joshua Bell (b. 1967)
The violins in an orchestra are usually divided into two groups – the first violins, led by the Concertmaster, and the second violins.
The viola is the second smallest and a medium pitched member of the string family. It is similar to an alto in a choir. The viola is often confused for the violin, but it is bigger and has a lower sound than the violin.
The viola is very important in smaller groups of instruments, called chamber music ensembles, but has also been used in songs by pop groups like The Beatles, The Who, and Gorillaz.
It is the second largest and a medium pitched member of the string family. It is similar to a tenor in a choir. The cello is often confused for the double bass, but it is smaller and has a higher sound than the double bass.
The cello was originally called the “violoncello” because it was smaller (cello) than an instrument in the 1600s called the “violon” (not the violin). Its name eventually got shorter and now it’s most often just called the cello.
Ma was born in France in 1955 and his family moved to New York soon after. He went to the Juilliard School and Harvard University. He plays with orchestras (he played with the CSO in 2014!) but also plays American bluegrass, traditional Chinese melodies, tangos from Argentina, and jazz music.
The Double Bass, or bass for short, is the largest and the lowest pitched member of the string family.
It has four strings tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E.
Basses are very important in classical music and they often have the foundation notes that the other instrument’s lines are built on.
The harp is an instrument in the string family. The type most often found in an orchestra is called a pedal harp or a concert harp.
At one time all woodwind instruments were made of wood, but some are now made of metal, such as the flute. They all make their sounds by blowing air across a hole or a reed (pieces of cane strapped together) into a hollow tube with holes on the side.
The flute is one of the smaller and higher pitched instruments in the woodwind family.
The flute is an aerophone or a reedless woodwind instrument that makes is sound from the flow of air across an opening.
The flute was once made of wood or bone, but is now usually made of metal.
Flutes are very important in classical music and they often have the melody or play fast notes. Sometimes, they are used to imitate birds chirping.
Related to the flute
- Piccolo – means “little flute” and is about half the size of a flute. It’s played the same was a concert flute, but produces the highest notes in the orchestra.
- Native American Flute – legend says woodpeckers pecked holes in hollow branches; when the wind blew through the holes, Native Americans nearby hear the music.
- Irish Flute – usually made of wood and metal, this flute is used often in the folk music of Ireland.
- Recorder – part of a family in the woodwinds called “fipple flutes”, many elementary school students play the recorder!
The oboe is usually a hollow black tube made of wood or very hard plastic with metal keys. It sometimes looks similar to a clarinet, but is skinnier and shorter.
Oboes are double-reed instruments. They have two pieces of cane tied together to make a reed which goes at the top of the instrument. The oboist blows through the reed and the two pieces vibrate against each other to produce sound.
The clarinet is usually a hollow black tube made of grenadilla wood from Africa or very hard plastic with metal keys.
Clarinet in Jazz Music and Big Band Music
The clarinet was a very important instrument in jazz music during the 1920s. In the 1930s and 40s, musicians like Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw used the clarinet often in many of their Big Band and Swing orchestras.
The bassoon is made of a tube that is eight feet long, but which is bent back upon itself so that it can be held more conveniently.
The double-reed is mounted on a metal pipe, bent so that it can reach the player’s mouth. This is called a “bocal”.
Since each bassoon is slightly different, bassoonists often make their own reeds. They can usually only use one out of every four reeds they make.
Brass Instruments have a cup shaped mouthpiece that is inserted into one end of the instrument. The player blows into it and the air travels through a curved tube and comes out through the funnel shaped bell.
If you were to straighten the tube of a trumpet, it would be about 4 ½ feet long!
Trumpet players press their fingers down on valves on the body of the trumpet to open more tubing. This makes the air travel further and changes the sound, making it higher or lower.
Trumpets in Marches and Jazz
A march is a piece of music with strong beats that was originally written to be marched to. They were frequently performed by military bands and sometimes performed at events called tattoos. Marches became very popular in the 1800s when other members of the brass instrument family developed. The trumpet is very important in these groups and often has the melody.
The trumpet is widely used in jazz music and some of the most well-known trumpeters have been jazz musicians.
Famous jazz trumpeters
- Louis Armstrong
- Dizzie Gillespie
- Miles Davis
- Maynard Ferguson
- Louis Prima
- Doc Severinsen
The trumpet is one of the oldest instruments and dates back to at least 1500 BCE and were used to signal different things during wars or religious ceremonies.
If you were to straighten the tube of a trombone, it would be almost 9 feet long!
Trombone players can change the sound by putting a cone shaped device in the bell called a mute. The mute makes the trombone softer.
The French horn is the third highest sounding instrument in the brass family, below the cornet and the trumpet.
Sometimes, the French horn is simply called the “horn”. People who play it are usually called “horn players” or sometimes “hornists”.
French horn players can also make higher or lower sounds without using the valves – they simply change the shape of their lips and the speed of the air inside the mouthpiece. French horn players can also place their hand further inside the bell of the instrument to change the pitch and sound.
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family and usually plays notes in the Bass clef.
If you were to straighten the tube of the tuba, it would be 16 feet long!
In Latin, “tuba” means “trumpet”.
The percussion family of the orchestra is made up of instruments that make sounds when players hit or shake them. Usually, these are drums (including timpani), bells, cymbals, triangle, and chimes. Some percussion instruments, such as the xylophone or bells, can be used to play a melody but most cannot. Percussion instruments can be made of many different materials but the most common are wood, metal, plastic, and animal skin.
Percussion instruments are some of the oldest instruments.
Percussion instruments are usually divided into two groups – pitched instruments (those that have an identifiable pitch) and unpitched instruments (those without an identifiable pitch).
Pitched percussion instruments have an identifiable pitch – you could find the same note on an instrument or you could sing it. Some examples include:
- Chimes/Tubular bells
- Glass harmonica
- Tuned Triangle
- Wind chimes
Unpitched percussion instruments make many different sounds, but they don’t have one identifiable note. Some examples include:
- Bass drum
- Slapstick or whip
- Snare drum
The Tivoli Theatre
The Tivoli opened on March 19, 1921 and was designed for both silent movies and live productions on stage. In 1926 the Tivoli became one of the first public buildings in the country to be air-conditioned.
Throughout the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the Tivoli was Chattanooga’s best movie and variety theatre. However, when television was introduced in the 1950s, audiences began to decline. In 1961, the Tivoli was closed and barely escaped being torn down. In 1986, the Tivoli was renovated and reopened in 1989 with new dressing rooms, a rising orchestra pit, rehearsal rooms, and a larger stage.
The Tivoli’s inside is built in the Beaux Arts style, popular for movie theatres of the 1920s. Its high domed ceiling, grand lobby, crystal chandeliers, and elegant foyer were designed to transport audiences to a world of richness and splendor.
The CSO performs often at the Tivoli Theatre – almost 20 times each season. Our Masterworks concerts which are mostly classical music, our Pops concerts which are not-so-classical concerts with music from Broadway, the movies, and more, and our Young People’s Concerts happen at the Tivoli.
Coming to a CSO concert for the first time?
Coming to a concert is lots of fun! Follow these tips to make sure you have a great time with us.
- Arrive a little early so you can find your seat and get settled.
- Remain seated during the performance.
- Keep your voice low when talking between pieces.
- Turn off cell phones or other noisemakers.
- Applaud at the end of musical pieces. If you’re not sure if the piece is over, watch for the conductor to completely lower their arms – that means the piece is over!
We’re so excited to have you! This should be a fun experience, so check out the resources below if you or your child is a little nervous.
Meet Your Seat
Bringing a child or student who may need to see and be in the space ahead of the concert?
Please contact Amy Morgan at email@example.com or 423.267.8583 x 2100 to arrange a time for your child to meet their seat!