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Young People’s Concerts

 

Compose Yourself!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 10:00am
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at  12:00pm
Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 10:00am
Tivoli Theatre

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 10:00am
Friday, February 9, 2018 at 12:00pm

North Cleveland Church of God

Kayoko Dan, conductor
Carey Shinbaum, narrator

Reservations open in August 2017
Admission is $5 (by reservation only).

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Sarah Marczynski at 423.267.8583×2100 or smarczynski@chattanoogasymphony.org.

Compose Yourself!, by modern composer James Stephenson, is an educational and interactive show for young audiences which introduces families of and individual instruments and invites students to further explore how melody, harmony, and rhythm join together to compose music. This 50 minute performance is appropriate for students in 1st through 8th grade, but especially those in 3rd through 5th grades.

Schools located in Tennessee may apply for funding assistance through the Tennessee Arts Commission. Visit www.tn.gov/arts for more information. All 3rd grade students in HCDE schools are eligible to attend free of charge (admission and transportation) thanks to the Imagine Chattanooga project through ArtsBuild.

Be sure to take an adult, like a parent or teacher, along with you as you explore online.

“The Star-Spangled Banner”

“The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States.  The words to the song come from a poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

In 1931, the Congress and President Herbert Hoover made it the official national anthem.

There are actually four verses to the song, but when the anthem is played and sung, it is usually only the first verse that is performed.

FSKFrancis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was born in Maryland and grew up to become a lawyer in Washington, D.C.  Key liked to write poetry in his spare time and some of his poems have been used as lyrics to church hymns.

His most famous poem, “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, was written during the War of 1812’s Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.  The poem was published later in 1814 and was set to a popular tune so it could be sung.

After his death, many monuments across the country were established to celebrate him and his poem.

Oh Say Can You Sing?

At the February 7-9 Compose Yourself! concerts and the February 11 Family concert, our first piece will be “The Star-Spangled Banner”.  The audience will be asked to stand and we hope you will join us in singing the first verse with the orchestra accompanying you.

Lyrics from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”

Lyrics: the words of a song
Defence poem

Original “Defence of Fort M’Henry” poem from the Library of Congress

The lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” come from a poem written by Francis Scott Key.  On September 3, 1814, Key and John Stuart Skinner boarded a ship in Baltimore and set sail hoping to rescue one of their friends who had been taken prisoner by the British.

On September 7, Key and Skinner met with British captains and overheard their plans for a battle against the Americans.  Because they’d heard these plans, Key and Skinner had to stay with the British during the battle so they wouldn’t tell the battle plan to the Americans.

During the night, Key saw Fort McHenry’s flag flying, but it became so smoky and cloudy from the cannons and guns, that he would not know if the flag had been taken down.  If the flag had been taken down, it meant that the British had captured the fort and won the battle; if it was still there, then it meant the Americans had prevailed.

On the morning of September 14, Francis Scott Key saw that the large American flag with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes was flying over the fort, signaling an American victory!  He was so inspired that he wrote a poem on the back of a letter he had in his pocket.

Read Defence of Fort M'Henry

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

James Stephenson, Compose Yourself!

Leading American orchestras, instrumentalists, and wind ensembles around the world have performed the music of Chicago based composer James M. Stephenson, both to critical acclaim and the delight of audiences.

James M. Stephenson came late to his full-time composing career, having performed 17 seasons as a trumpeter in the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. As such, the composer is largely self-taught. Compose Yourself, Stephenson’s young-audience work, has now been performed over 300 times since its creation in 2002, with performances in New Zealand and Canada and across the U.S.

Jim originally hails from the Greater Chicago area, as does his wife Sally. In 2007 the couple, along with their four children, returned to the region to pursue the life they now share.

Visit James Stephenson’s Website

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.

Some of the most famous include:

  • 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

Claude Debussy

W.A. Mozart

John Williams

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, Renaissance 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 weren’t 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.

 

Tania León

Unsuk Chin

Jennifer Higdon

Compose Yourself!

At our Young People’s Concerts, during the second half of the concert, the orchestra will play three melodies and a volunteer will choose their favorite. Then, the orchestra will play three harmonies to accompany the melody and a volunteer will choose their favorite pair. Lastly, the orchestra will play the melody and harmony in three different rhythms and a volunteer will choose their favorite version. Students may be asked to share their opinion with the volunteer to help make their choice. The result – a world premiere at the Tivoli Theatre!

Composing For Yourself

A melody is a series of tones played one after the other. It’s usually the “tune” or the main idea in a piece of music.

Compose Yourself: Melody

At our Young People’s Concerts, during the second half of the concert, the orchestra will play three melodies and a volunteer will choose their favorite. Play the three melodies below on piano or another instrument and choose your favorite!

Listen to the three melodies here:

Melody #1

Melody #2

Melody #3

(note that it is written in Bass clef)

Harmony is when two or more notes or tones are played together. Usually, harmony provides a background for the melody and gives more depth to the music. Composers pick different notes to support the melody and the notes they pick for the harmony can belong to a major harmony, a minor harmony, or a jazz harmony.

Compose Yourself: Harmony

After a volunteer chooses the melody, the orchestra will play three harmonies and a volunteer will choose their favorite. Play the three harmonies   below – played by the Double Bass on the concert – on piano or another instrument and choose your favorite!

Listen to the three harmonies with Melody #3 here:

Harmony #1  – a Major harmony which may sound happy

Harmony #2 – a Minor harmony which may sound sad or mysterious

 

Harmony #3 – a Jazz harmony which may give some unexpected sounds

 

Rhythm is the pattern of sounds and silences in music. Sometimes the rhythm can be very fast and very complicated; other times it can be easy or can include lots of rests. One thing’s for sure though – All music has rhythm!

Waltz

A waltz is a dance that came from Europe and usually has one strong beat followed by two weak beats.

Many famous composers wrote waltzes including Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss, and Johannes Brahms. The most famous composer of waltzes was Johann Strauss, Jr. He lived in Vienna, Austria during the 1800s and wrote over 500 waltzes and other dance music. He is known as “The Waltz King“.

 

March

A march usually has one strong beat followed by one weak beat. They were (and still are!) used to help keep soldiers marching together.

Marches became very popular in the 1800s when the members of the brass instrument family developed. Although all instruments of the orchestra can be used in a march, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments are especially important.

In the United States, marches became very popular during the Civil War. Armies need to move, and armies of the 19th century moved on foot, and moving on foot was easier and more orderly if a band was playing to keep a steady tempo. More than 3,000,000 men, north and south combined, served during the period. The United States War Department officially approved that every regiment in the Union Army was to have a brass band of 24 members. With the end of the war, that’s a lot of musicians returning to their homes.

Civic or town bands were the result and concerts presented in gazebos on community parks were the norm for holidays or weekly summer social gatherings. Most of these bands played marches and the king of the march was John Philip Sousa.

Marches can be written at any speed, but are most often played at 120 beats per minute in order to match the pace of soldiers walking and remaining in step.

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) was born in Washington, D.C. and began studying music and the violin when he was 10.  When he was 13, he began playing in the Marine Band; his father enrolled him as an apprentice to keep him from playing in a circus band! Sousa returned in 1880 to conduct the Marine Band and in 1892, formed his own band, “The Sousa Band”.

Sousa was one of the best composers of marches who ever lived and is known as the “March King”.  You’ll hear many of his marches at Independence Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day celebrations.  He also wrote many operettas, concert orchestral music, and waltzes.

Tango

A tango is a dance that came from South America around 1850.

The tango has a very characteristic rhythmic pattern, but the strong beat and the weak beats move depending on the pattern. In a tango rhythm, you can almost always hear the “pick-up” note which leads to a strong beat.


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?

Try It!

orchestra layout-page-001-numbered
    • French Horn
    • Viola
    • Timpani
    • Second Violin
    • Trombone
    • Clarinet
    • Cello
    • Flute
    • Tuba
    • Percussion
    • Oboe
    • Bass
    • First Violin
    • Conductor
    • Bassoon
    • Trumpet
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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!

The string family of the symphony orchestra is made up of violins, violas, violoncellos (or cellos for short), and double basses. They all look very much alike except that they are different sizes. The strings are the largest part of the orchestra and often take the leading part in the music.
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.

Violin

The violin is the smallest and the highest pitched member of the string family.

It has four strings tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E. The strings are of different thicknesses and stretched different lengths. Most modern strings are made of steel or another metal, but were originally made of dried animal gut.

The violin is held over the left shoulder with the chin resting on the chin rest. The left hand holds the neck and moves up and down the fingerboard while the right hand uses the bow.

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.

Famous Violinists

  • Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
  • Pierre Baillot (1771-1842)
  • Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840)
  • Boris Goldstein (1922-1987)
  • Itzhak Perlman (b. 1945)
  • Joshua Bell (b. 1967)

Listen: 

The violins in an orchestra are usually divided into two groups – the first violins, led by the Concertmaster, and the second violins.

Concertmaster, Holly Mulcahy

Concertmaster: the principal violinist for the orchestra. They tune the orchestra before the concert and make decisions about how the violinists should perform the music.

Associate Concertmaster, Josh Holritz

Sherri Peck; Principal 2nd Violin

Principal 2nd Violin, Sheri Peck

Viola

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 held over the left shoulder with the chin resting on the chin rest.  The left hand holds the neck and moves up and down the fingerboard while the right hand uses the bow.

 

Principal Viola, Robert Elder

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 has four strings tuned to the notes C, G, D, and A.

 

The viola is special because all of the music written for it is written in the alto clef. Most of the time, instruments play notes written in the treble clef or bass clef, but the viola plays in the alto clef.

Listen: 

Cello

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’s end pin or tail spike is placed on the floor and the body of the cello rests between the player’s legs. The left hand holds the neck and moves up and down the fingerboard while the right hand uses the bow.

The cello has four strings tuned to the notes C, G, D, and A.

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.

Eric Reed

Principal Cello, Eric Reed

A living musician who is one of the most famous cellists is Yo-Yo Ma.

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.

In a string quartet, the cello usually plays the bass line and is the foundation for the melody. In a string quintet, the cello often plays more of a role in the harmony of a piece.

Listen: 

Double Bass

The Double Bass, or bass for short, is the largest and the lowest pitched member of the string family.

The bass has a thick metal pin that can be pulled out of the bottom and the instrument sits on this end pin on the floor. The left hand holds the neck and moves up and down the fingerboard while the right hand uses the bow or plucks the strings. The body of the bass stands in front of the player who sits on a stool or stands behind it.

It has four strings tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E.

Principal Bass, Taylor Brown

Basses are very important in classical music and they often have the foundation notes that the other instrument’s lines are built on.

The bass is also used in popular music and is an important instrument in bluegrass music.

 

The electric bass looks like a guitar but does the same job as a double bass in rock, country, and popular music.

Listen: 

Harp

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.

The harp is played seated and a part called the “sound box” slants back against the player’s shoulder.

The harp has forty-seven strings, stretched at an angle across a tall wooden frame shaped like a triangle. Because it has so many strings, the harp can produce sounds that are very low all the way up to sounds that are very high.

Harps have been around for a very long time, dating back to as early as 3500 BCE. Early harps were small and probably easy to carry. Sometimes they were called lyres (lie-urs)

Principal Harp, Caroline Brown-Hudson

Listen: 

The harpist plucks the strings, using all but the little fingers on each hand.

The woodwind family of the orchestra is made up primarily of flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons.

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.

Flute

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.

Flute players press their fingers down on keys on the body of the flute to open and close holes in the pipe. This changes the sound and makes it higher or lower.

The flute was once made of wood or bone, but is now usually made of metal.

The flute is held horizontally from the mouth with the left hand closer to the mouth and the right hand further down the body and foot joint.  Air is blown across the hole rather than directly into it.

 

Principal Flute, Kristen Holritz

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!

Listen:

Oboe

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.

Oboe players press their fingers down on keys the body of the oboe to open and close holes in the pipe. This changes the sound and makes it higher or lower.

 

The oboe is held vertically from the mouth and the left hand is placed on the keys of the upper tube and the right hand placed on the lower tube.

Listen: 

The oboe is about two feet long – the same length as the flute!

Oboes are double-reed instrumentsThey 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.

Before an orchestra concert, the orchestra must make sure they will all play the correct pitches during the performance, so they tune. When an orchestra tunes up, the oboist plays an ”A” and every player tunes their instrument to the oboe’s “A” pitch.

Robert Burkes, Photograph by Brad Cansler

Principal Oboe, Bob Burks

Clarinet

The clarinet is usually a hollow black tube made of grenadilla wood from Africa or very hard plastic with metal keys.

The clarinet is held vertically from the mouth and the left hand is placed on the keys of the upper tube and the right hand placed on the lower tube.

Robert West, Photograph by Brad Cansler

Principal Clarinet, Bob West

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.

Clarinets are single-reed instruments.  They have one reed at the top of the instrument which vibrates against the mouthpiece to produce sound.

Listen: 

Bassoon

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 bassoon is held diagonally in front of the player, but unlike the clarinet, oboe, and flute, it cannot be supported by the player’s hands alone. The bassoonist must use a strap to help keep the instrument in place.

Listen: 

Bassoons 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 bassoonist blows through the reed and the two pieces vibrate against each other to produce sound.

 

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.

Principal Bassoon, Eric Anderson

The brass family of the orchestra is made up of French horns, trumpets, trombones, and tuba. They all have a vibrating metal tube. They can change the pitch of the instrument by pressing valves with their fingers or by moving a slide back and forth.

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.

Trumpet

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.

Principal Trumpet, David Hobbs

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.

Listen: 

 

Trombone

Instead of using valves like the trumpet, trombone players move a slide up and down to change the length of the tube. This makes the air travel further and changes the sound, making it higher or lower.

Principal Trombone, Doug Warner

 

If you were to straighten the tube of a trombone, it would be almost 9 feet long!

Listen: 

The tuning slide and weight should rest on the left shoulder and the slide moved with the right hand.

 

Trombone players can change the sound by putting a cone shaped device in the bell called a mute. The mute makes the trombone softer.

 

French Horn

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 press their fingers down on valves on the body of the horn to open more tubing. This makes the air travel further and changes the sound, making it higher or lower.

 

A player holds the French horn in front of them with their hand on the mouthpiece tube and another hand in a fist inside the bell. Unlike other brass instruments, the bell faces away from the audience and creates a quieter sound.

If you were to straighten the tube of a French horn, it would be almost 20 feet long!

The tone of the French horn is more mellow than other brass instruments, so it is often used in ensembles with woodwind instruments like the clarinet and oboe.

Gordon James, Photograph by Brad Cansler

Principal Horn, Gordon James

 

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.

Listen: 

Tuba

The tuba is the largest and  lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family and usually plays notes in the Bass clef.

Tuba players press their fingers down on valves on the body of the tuba to open more tubing. This makes the air travel further and changes the sound, making it higher or lower.

 

If you were to straighten the tube of the tuba, it would be 16 feet long!

In Latin, “tuba” means “trumpet”.

German inventors Wilhelm Wieprecht and Johann Moritz invented the tuba in 1835.

Principal Tuba, Neil Konouchi

 

Listen: 

 

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).

Principal Percussion, Chad Crummel

 

Pitched Percussion Instruments

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
  • Crotales
  • Glass harmonica
  • Glockenspiel
  • Handbells
  • Marimba

The marimba is a pitched percussion instrument with many wooden bars of of increasingly smaller lengths suspended over resonator bars. The marimba is laid out like a keyboard and is played with mallets.

Listen: 

  • Tabla
  • Timpani
  • Tuned Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind chimes
  • Xylophone

The timpani are pitched types of drums with a head spread over bowl shaped frame, usually made of copper. They can be tuned to play different notes and are played with a mallet.

Unpitched Percussion Instruments

Unpitched percussion instruments make many different sounds, but they don’t have one identifiable note. Some examples include:

  • Bass drum
  • Castanets
  • Cymbals
  • Rainstick

The Bass drum has a head stretched over a very large frame. Most of the time, it is played with a mallet. The bass drum makes a very low sound.

Listen: 

  • Slapstick or whip
  • Snare drum
  • Tamtam
  • Tom-tom

The snare drum is a percussion instrument that produces a sharp, quick or staccato sound when the head is struck. It has stiff wires held under tension against the skin on the bottom that rattle when struck. It is usually played with drum sticks.

 

You’ll see many different instruments on stage at the concert.  Each instrument has its own section on stage.

Can you match where each instrument usually sits?

orchestra layout-page-001-numbered

    • French Horn
    • Viola
    • Timpani
    • Second Violin
    • Trombone
    • Clarinet
    • Cello
    • Flute
    • Tuba
    • Percussion
    • Oboe
    • Bass
    • First Violin
    • Conductor
    • Bassoon
    • Trumpet
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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!

The Tivoli Theatre

2008, CSO's 75th anniversary

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?

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.

Tivoli Concert Story Narrative (PDF) Tivoli Concert Story Narrative (Word) Tivoli Sensory Map (PDF)

Meet Your Seat

Bringing a child or student who may need to see and be in the space ahead of the concert?  Please contact Sarah Marczynski at smarczynski@chattanoogasymphony.org or 423.267.8583 x 2100 to arrange a time for your child to meet their seat!


To make reservations for your school group, please contact contact Sarah Marczynski at 423.267.8583 x 2100

Schools located in Tennessee may apply for funding assistance through the Tennessee Arts Commission. Visit www.tn.gov/arts for more information.

All 3rd grade students in HCDE schools are eligible to attend free of charge (admission and transportation) thanks to the Imagine project through ArtsBuild.  Additionally, ArtsBuild will pay for the music teacher substitutes, if necessary, so that you can attend this educational opportunity with your students.  To make reservations through ArtsBuild, please call ArtsBuild, 756-2787.

Teacher Resources

Compose Yourself! Teacher’s Guide (PDF)

Full length version of the premiere small-orchestra concert:

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