NEW BRITAIN - Excitement was reflected in the cheers and applause of more than 1,500 fifth-graders students at the 22nd annual New Britain Symphony Orchestra Young People Concert Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University.
The concert started with music from “Star Wars” and culminated with a piece from “Harry Potter.”
Students from New Britain, Berlin, Plainville, Newington, and, for the first time, from the Albert D. Griswold Middle School in Rocky Hill attended the concert.
The Young People Concert concludes a year-long cooperative program involving art teachers and the orchestra.
Justin Farrel, a teacher from a Berlin elementary school, called the concert a nice way to get students excited about being part of the band program in sixth grade.
“They were excited to see an orchestra,” Farrel said.
For some students, it was their first time seeing an orchestra perform live, Farrel added.
For Janet Barneschi, a member of the education committee of the orchestra, the concert was a way of inspiring the local children. Barneschi said her hope is to see some of these children join the orchestra in the future.
The event featured guest conductor Netta Hadari, who visited some of the schools a few weeks ago and participated in a classroom lesson in which he introduced the students to the orchestra.
The Young People Concert was Hadari’s first time conducting the NBSO. One of his favorite parts of Wednesday’s concert was greeting the students and getting to know them as they walked into Welte Auditorium.
“Presenting the show and hearing the cheers, hearing the interaction of the children with the music, that was fantastic,” Hadari said. “But also, conducting the orchestra was quite fun.”
Hadari said he is an educator himself and loves to perform in children’s concerts.
“I think they are really important,” he added.
The orchestra held an essay contest and a poster contest and three winners were announced at the concert and handed trophies.
Jaylani Morales, of Smith Elementary School in New Britain, Michelle Mosur, of Willard Elementary School in Berlin, and Jayla Boxley, of Vance Elementary School in New Britain were the winners of the poster contest.
The essay contest winners were James E. Jones, of Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain, Malia Burgos, of Gaffney Elementary School in New Britain, Ali McCarthy, of Diloreto Elementary School in New Britain, and Brooke Krupa of Toffolon Elementary School in Plainville.
The orchestra also presented a concert cover winner, Analise Jones, of Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain.
A student conductor was also chosen to lead the grand finale, “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
The New Britain Symphony Orchestra’s next concert, “Spring in Bloom,” featuring a garden theme, will be on May 5, with Edward Cumming conducting.
To learn more about the orchestra, visit newbritainsymphony.org.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.