Transcription

Stephen MulliganAssistant Conductor

Heroes of the OrchestraHeroes show bravery, character, and determination in the face of a challenge. Theyovercome obstacles and take a stand. The heroes in our lives might come from history, legends, books,movies, or even real life. Look around! Your hero could be standing nearby! It could be a teacher, aparent, a sister, a brother, a life-guard, or a soldier. We could be our own heroes — to ourselves!When we honor heroes with music, sometimes we want to hear marches with trumpets and drums.Other times, we honor heroes with more solemn tributes, patriotic anthems, or quiet hymns. Listen forthe difference and see what you think.Bring your hero to this Concert for Young People – and celebrate them with lSymphony1

Sibelius: Finland ’s National HeroHandel: The King’s ComposerComposer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was born in Finland, a Nordiccountry located close to the Arctic Circle. After he lost his father atan early age, Sibelius was raised by his mother and grandmotherin a small city. In the summertime, they moved to a small town inthe country.German composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) was the son of a barber/surgeon. His fatherdid not approve of Handel’s interest in music so Handel snuck into the attic to practice on a keyboardhe hid there. As a young man, Handel traveled through Italy studying with famous composers. Whenhe was 25, he became court composer for the future King of England. Handel found such success inLondon that he stayed for the rest of his life.Sibelius lived for those summers. His winters were harsh as aschoolboy in the city. In the summertime, he ran through forestsand swam through lakes. Sibelius learned to love nature as muchas he loved music.“ Handel was the greatest composer that ever lived.I would uncover my head, and kneel before his tomb.”Handel’s great gift was composing music for public events such as theater, parades, and coronations.He wrote music for fireworks and even “water music” to be played by musicians on a floating barge.You might have heard the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” during the winter holidays.His uncle had given him a violin when he was 10 and Sibeliusdreamed of being a concert violinist. After high school, he realizedthat his greater talent was as a composer. Sibelius combined his love of nature andmusic with a sense of patriotism – and became a national hero in Finland!Sibelius & “Finlandia”Composer Ludwig van BeethovenSibelius composed “Finlandia” as a political protest.In the 1800’s, Finland was dominated by the Russian Empire to the east. Finnishcitizens were forced to serve in the Russian army. Russia censored newspapersto stop any bad news about Russia or good news about Finland. For a century,the people of Finland struggled to keep their identity.The Queen of Sheba: The Myth, the LegendIn the late 1890’s, Finland fought back. Sibelius wrote music for a event to raise moneyfor a free press in Finland. He put into his music what the Finnish people had not beenable to say with words.Today, Sibelius’s “Finlandia” is considered Finland’s second national anthem.You can look at images of Finland on this YouTube video of “Finlandia.”“Music begins where words end.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v F5zg af9b8cWhatmakesa hero?Heroes come in many types–but people do agree that ahero is brave in the face ofa challenge.“Courage” means thestrength to overcome fears orchallenges. The word comesfrom an Old French word for‘heart’ and is understood asmeaning “strength of heart.”2Composer Jean SibeliusListening to “Finlandia”The Queen of Sheba appears in religious books held by Jewish, Christian, andMuslim people. We have little proof she actually lived, but no one seems to doubtshe was real in the ancient world. The Queen of Sheba was beautiful, smart, andpowerful and she ruled an exotic, distant kingdom, maybe Ethiopia. In her society,women were equal to men in government, religion, business, and family.The Queen of Sheba learned that King Solomon of Israel was wise and wealthyso she travelled to Jerusalem to test him with riddles and to do business. Shearrived making a huge entrance on a caravan of camels with gifts of gold, spices,and precious jewels. The Queen of Sheba was a strong, powerful woman whochanged the ancient world.When Handel composed a work about King Solomon, he needed music for“The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba” that was stately and dignified — but alsotrue to a strong queen. The music he wrote is still popular today, especiallyat weddings when the bride walks down the aisle. Imagine the deep chords from the brass section as the Russian Empire, distant, darkand threatening. The soothing, sweeping section that follows is like the beautiful Finnish countryside. A call of trumpets seems to rally the people of Finland to action. An inspiring melody from the strings and woodwinds suggests an anthem or a hymn,urging the people of Finland to stay positive and true to their cause. In the finale, big drums join the full orchestra for a bold, triumphant finish!Notice Sibelius gives each instrumental section a chance to shine in his composition.When the full orchestra comes together, Sibelius creates a powerhouse. In a way,Sibelius is saying that people all over Finland have something to contribute – and theymust come together for the good of their country.Hear the Hero: Compare & Contrast What things are the same in Sibelius’s “Finlandia” and Handel’s“The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba”?Do they have different tempos? Does one work sound more“modern” than the other? Do they use different musicaldynamics? Is one loud and the other soft?Do the works use the same instruments? Do they both havemelody? Do they both suggest something important? Do theyboth sound heroic? Does one work sound more “feminine” or “masculine” than theother? How can music sound masculine or feminine anyway? What things are different between the two works? Should heroic music for a woman sound different for a man?3

beethoven: Catching FireGerman composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was born in a small city.He was playing the piano when he was still so small he had to stand on the bench to reachthe keys. His father pushed him to succeed and Beethoven pushed as well. At 11, he quitschool to pursue a full-time musical career. In his 20’s. He sought the greatest composersof his day to learn from the very best.Good Vibrations: The Science of SoundBeethoven wrote music for singers, pianists, string quartets, ballet companies, orchestrasand more. He changed the orchestra to make a bigger sound. He added instruments to playnotes that audiences had not before. Beethoven’s bold and exciting vision made everyonewant to hear his music.Beethoven could also “feel” music with his sense of touch.Sound creates vibrations that travel through the air until theyreach our ears and are understood by our brains. You probablyfeel vibrations in your body. Have you felt a cell phone when itvibrates? Or a car that passes by with booming speakers?Beethoven’s “The Creatures of Prometheus”Beethoven used vibrations to help him “hear” music. He sawedthe legs off his piano and placed it flat on the floor so thatvibrations from piano strings came through the wooden floor.At a performance, he would sit next to the stage and place ahand on floor beneath the musicians.“The Creatures of Prometheus” is the score that Beethoven composed for a ballet based onthe Greek mythical god Prometheus.Prometheus was a young god who was known to “think-ahead.” Zeus gave him the task ofmolding men out of clay but Prometheus insisted on making his creatures better. He gavethem music, knowledge, joy, and the idea of progress, to better oneself. When Prometheusstole fire to give to his creatures, he got into huge trouble with Zeus. Prometheus isremembered as a hero who sacrificed himself for the greater good.Beethoven knew how to write music before he became deaf.He could read a score and “hear” the music “in his head”—w theway a builder looks at blueprints and sees the whole project.Being Deaf: His Own Personal HeroAs a young man, Beethoven noticed he could no longerhear high notes. It took 20 years for Beethovento become totally deaf – and no one reallyknows why.In Beethoven’s day, people did notsupport people with disabilities aswe do today. Beethoven kept tohimself, and avoided family andfriends — but he never stoppedwriting music. How couldhe write music when hewas going deaf? He usedscience and math!Good Vibrations: An Activity“ Music should strike fire in the heart of man.”Composer Ludwig van Beethoven4Sound vibrations get faster or slower depending on how high orhow low a sound is. Try for yourself! Blow up a balloon — latex-free,if you’re allergic! — and hold it close to your mouth. Have someoneelse touch the balloon as you speak. Switch roles so that youtouch the balloon while the other person speaks. Can you feelthe vibrations?Try holding the balloon while you play Beethoven’s music reallyloud in the room! Can you feel sound vibrations on the surfaceof the balloon? What do the vibrations feel like?5

copland: A New American MusicAmerican composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewishparents. The youngest of five children, he learned to play the piano alongside his oldersister. Growing up near New York City, he attended many classical music performanceswhile he was young. When he was in college, he decided to travel overseas to study withEuropean composers.When he returned, Copland was determined to create a new “American music.” He didn’twant to repeat the cheerful, patriotic songs played at fireworks shows. Copland wantedmusic that sounded as great and grand as a national monument — but also as down-to-earthas pioneers in covered wagons.Sitting Down with LincolnCopland was asked to write a musical portrait of a great American hero. He chose AbrahamLincoln, our 16th President.The Hero in Your LifeAll students attending this concert are invited to submit ashort paragraph — three to five sentences — describing a heroin your life! Think of the different types of heroes in this guide.Some took on a big challenge. Others quietly did the rightthing. Some set an example for others. Others never gave up.Heroes show up everywhere. “The hero in your life” might bein a movie or a comic book – but he or she could also exist inreal life! They might come from a textbook or a newspaper —or maybe they live in your school or your house!Once you have that hero in mind, look at the words in theword-collage. Do any describe your hero? Remember: heroesdon’t have to be big, bold, and strong. They can also bereserved and patient but full of purpose.What music goes with your hero? Write a sentence about that!Is it a triumphant march or a quiet anthem? Which musicalinstrument plays your hero’s theme song? Is it a trumpetor a drum? Or a violin or a flute?Identify the values that your hero has inspired in you.You may already be a hero to somebody else!describe your heroLincoln rose from poor beginnings to the highest office in the land. He led the nation througha Civil War. As President, he championed the end of slavery, the emancipation of AfricanAmericans, and helped to secure equality.To create his “Lincoln Portrait,” Copland combined music with spoken statements Lincolnmade during his lifetime, plus facts about his life. He wanted his “Lincoln Portrait” to soundlike we’re sitting down with the man himself. Copland placed his music between the wordson purpose — because he wanted Lincoln to be heard.Words for HeroesSee if these words fit the hero in your life!Add your own words to the picture !your hero’s musichere’s the dealThe best essays will win an opportunity to read youressay out loud on the Atlanta Symphony Hall stageduring your Concert for Young People field trip date.More details to come!67

johnson:When Johnson became the school principal,he was invited to speak at a local event inhonor of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. At thattime, African Americans still faced terribleviolence in the South. Instead of a speech,Johnson chose to write a hymn that imagineda hopeful future for his people. His brothercomposed the music. At the event, their song,“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” was performed by500 school children.“ Li f t Ev’r y Voi ce andSi n g ”Li f t e v’ry voiceand sin‘Til eag,rth andRing wheavenith ther ing,har monies of LLe t o u riberty;rejoicing r iseHigh as the list’ningLe t i t rskies,esoundSi n g aloud assong fultlheofrt h e fa i tolling sSi n g ah that tea.song fuhe darkll of thepahope thst has tFa c i n gat the paught uthe r isiresent hs,ng sunasbroughtof ourLe t u snew daus;marchy beguno n ’t i l,victoryis won.Johnson went on to become an attorney,an educator, a writer, and a diplomat. Hissong, however, took on a life of its own.People sang it in churches, at graduationceremonies and in school assemblies. It wasnamed the “Negro national anthem” by theNational Association for the Advancement ofColored People (NAACP) in 1919. It was stillbeing sung during the civil rights protestsand marches of the 1960s and 1970s. Evenin 2018, Beyonce sang the “black nationalanthem” in her concert at Coachella.A Hero to His PeopleAmerican songwriter James Weldon Johnson(1871-1938) was born in Jacksonville, FL.His father was a headwaiter in a restaurantand his mother was a school teacher and amusician. Johnson was home-schooled byhis mother who gave him a love of languageand music. After graduating college, Johnsontaught in a public school for blacks inJacksonville where many students were thechildren of former slaves.8

404.733.4871 ASO.ORGEducation & CommunityEngagement Staff ListingsHollis HudakSenior Director of Education andCommunity EngagementTiffany I. M. JonesManaging Producer ofEducation ConcertsKaitlin GressManager of Community ProgramsRuthie MiltenbergerManager of Family ProgramsAdrienne ThompsonManager,