On Sunday, March 23rd, the Philharmonic Association, in partnership with The Town of Cary and Applause! Cary Youth Theatre, put on a one-of-a-kind concert. The concert featured two Grimm’s fairytales set to original music by Michael Daugherty: “The Rampion Girl” (or “The Story of Rapunzel”) and “The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids.” The Philharmonic Association String Quartet (Ethan Ng, Avery Seiger, Esther Zhu, Stephen Chang) and the Triangle Youth Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet (Emily Qui, Noa Weinreb, Isabelle Lee, Ryan Gibson, Samantha Robeson) played the music, while two students from the Applause! Cary Youth Theatre narrated the stories. In addition, students from Cary Elementary created illustrations that were shown during the performance.

The collaborative aspect was certainly a highlight of the concert. It was intriguing to see how narration, visual art, and music worked together to tell a story. One could hear both the voice-like quality of music and the musical quality of speech in these unique compositions. It was also interesting to observe the student artists’ interpretation of the various scenes in the story. To witness the combining of three different art forms was truly a special experience.

Another highlight from the event was the instrument petting zoo held prior to the concert. In a room made colorful by the display of Cary Elementary Student’s artwork, volunteer musicians from the Philharmonic Associations set up tables displaying various instruments that people could try out and learn about. Children flocked to the zoo, eager to hold the instruments. Smiles filled faces as the PA volunteers demonstrated how to create sound on the various instruments. According to the PA musicians, it was an inspiring experience to help a child hold an instrument for perhaps the first time in their life and to know that he or she could be responsible for sparking that child’s interest in music.

Sunday’s concert really captured the essence of what the Philharmonic Association is all about. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for musicians to learn, understand, and perform great music. We aim to not only teach people about music, but to create in them a passion for music. We seek new ways get people excited about music and to demonstrate that classical and jazz music is something for people of all backgrounds, ages, races, and genders to enjoy and participate in. With this unique, collaborative performance, we believe we succeeded in fulfilling our mission.