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Symphony introduces children to music

October 2, 2010

Children were cheering by the time “Yankee Doodle” flashed on the screen at Friday’s Programs for Children, sponsored by the Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Orchestra.
“Ten American Songs” delighted “standing room only” audiences in Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall on the MSU campus Friday. Three concerts designed to introduce elementary students throughout Oktibbeha County to orchestral music, featured a variety of instruments.
The score for “Ten American Songs” was written by Dr. Michael Brown, conductor for the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Brown made sure specific instruments were highlighted in each segment of the orchestra at least once throughout the “Ten American Songs.”
And the students had a wonderful time. Familiar songs representing various elements of American history was brought to life by the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra, a PowerPoint presentation and MSU students acting out and leading the singing.
For the first time, audiences were invited to sing along to the orchestra. Songs such as “Hush Little Baby,” “Oh Susanna!” “Yankee Doodle” and “I’ve Been Workin’ On the Railroad were among the favorites at Friday’s presentation.
Dr. Joe Ray Underwood, one of the organizers for the Programs for Children event sponsored by the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra, said the event was “the total package.”
“The familiar music, MSU students leading the crowd to sing, the power point presentation and the costumed MSU students illustrating the songs, it was a great way to get the kids involved,” Underwood said.
Elementary education students from Dr. Karen Brown’s “Creative Arts in Elementary Education” course performed elements of the familiar songs as a class project.
As part of the project, the MSU students had to find ways to illustrate and communicate elements of the songs in a creative way to the audience. The class is designed to encourage future teachers to find creative ways to incorporate music, drama, art and dance in the classroom.
Friday’s program was provided by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
MSU’s Day One students and volunteers from the Starkville Civic League, also played important roles in Friday’s programming.
For more information about the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra, visit the website at

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