In Thursday’s (3/26) Florida Weekly (Fort Myers), Joseph Caulkins writes about a day he recently spent shadowing Raffaele Ponti, music director of Florida’s Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, who visits area schools for one week every month. “As we arrived at the first [elementary] school … Maestro Ponti … introduced himself and told [students] they were going on a trip to France…. They were asked to listen carefully” to Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, “identify the instrument being played and write the name of the instrument on the paper before them…. Soon their sheets were filled with artwork of roaring lions, hopping kangaroos, turtles, elephants and swans, alongside the names of instruments. Maestro Ponti’s vibrant presentation was a mixture of humor, history, art, music and an uncanny impression of a clucking chicken…. By the end of this season, Maestro Ponti will have visited every Charlotte County third-grade class in public and private schools—and homeschooled children, too. On May 22, these students will be bused to the Charlotte Performing Arts Center to hear the symphony present the kid-friendly program ‘Where in the World is the Symphony?’ ” Charlotte Symphony education programs also include master classes for middle-school and high-school bands; side-by-side programs with orchestra musicians; and a middle-school summer camp.
Posted March 30, 2014