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Constellations Family Concerts

The Family Concerts will focus on being open and accessible to everyone in the community, in terms of both practical access and engaging content for all audiences.  Family Concerts will be open and free to all ages, taking place in venues around the DMV area in locations chosen for maximum community impact.


Inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s “Young People’s Concerts” with the New York Philharmonic, the Constellations Family Concerts will offer high quality, interactive musical experiences that tie in to key musical concepts, presented “with clarity and without condescension,” and feature the same values as the main Constellations concert series: rejecting unnecessary labels of “old” and “new” music, passionate performers in it for the sake of the music rather than self-promotion, and uncompromising quality standards.  The Family Concerts will feature shorter works, with more interactive audience engagement woven throughout the performance. Some potential themes and interactive elements for Family Concerts include:

  • “I've Got Rhythm”: exploring the role of pulse and rhythm in music, getting the audience moving and experimenting with polyrhythm and other concepts

  • “Laugh and Play”: exploring how music can depict humor, and how music can surprise and delight us in unexpected ways

  • “Chamber Music Companions”: pairing off audience into small groups for musical activities to experience firsthand the interactive elements of chamber music

YPC Bernstein 1.jpg
YPC Bernstein.jpg
Constellations Discussion Panel

Preceding each main Constellations concerts will be a free educational panel discussion on the themes of the concert, led by members of the Programming Committee.  Our goal for the discussion is to challenge the audience to broaden their perception not only through carefully planned programming, but also through witty and educational commentary offered by members of the programming committee to help trace the common threads between works in each program and place them in their most insightful historical, social, philosophical, political, and psychological context.  We will aim to create a “virtuous circle” by cultivating an adventurous and ever-more-engaged audience - one that is willing to let their ears take them on unexpected musical journeys. These discussions will be set up in a “round table” format to encourage involvement and questions from the audience and create a “fear-free” environment that leads to insightful but not purely academic or “elitist” commentary - designed to foster curiosity to explore the chamber music featured on the upcoming program later in the evening.

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