Stockton Symphony, reaching students via Shakespeare and Mendelssohn

Posted on: January 29, 2016

In Wednesday’s (1/27) Stockton Record (California), Nicholas Filipas writes about the Stockton Symphony’s annual Steppin’ Out education series this week, themed this year to Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with “performances … for more than 6,000 fourth- and fifth-graders from 63 county schools.” At Stockton’s Atherton Auditorium, Music Director Peter Jaffe “utilized ‘teachable moments’ … instructing kids to listen carefully for moments in the piece. ‘It will give the picture of the fairy kingdom of Titania and Oberon and that impish character, Puck.’ … While the Steppin’ Out concerts deal much with education and exposure to classical music, Symphony President Pam Lee said often it is first concert for many of these kids, and to hear a performance on a campus such as Delta College, young students get a glimpse into college life….  This being an educational concert, students couldn’t escape from mathematical problems. If Mendelssohn was 17 years old when he wrote his first overture, and 17 years later was asked to write more music to fill in pockets for a full production of the play, how old would he be? ‘34!’ screamed the audience in unison. ‘You’re a genius,’ ” Jaffe gushed.”

Posted January 29, 2016

Pictured: Students at the Stockton Symphony’s Steppin’ Out concerts this week. Photo by Clifford Oto / The Record