Bramwell Tovey - VSOIs there anything Bramwell Tovey can’t do? Of course we all know him as the unbeatable conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Talent flows through his fingers when he sits down at the piano. But who knew Maestro Tovey excels at slap-stick comedy? From the moment Mr. Tovey took to the stage, he had the audience (kids and adults alike) in stitches. He had a number of his orchestra members chuckling, too!  We had the pleasure of enjoying the first performance in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Kids Koncert series where Bramwell Tovey demonstrated his many talents; Vancouver is going to suffer a huge loss when Mr. Tovey leaves at the end of the 2017/18 season.

The VSO Kids’ Koncerts are traditionally an hour in length.  When Bramwell Tovey is on stage the concerts tend to run a bit longer. We sure weren’t complaining! A few extra minutes of his comedy combined with exceptional music….please take as long as you wish! The Kids’ Koncerts are intended for children aged 5 – 12 years.  This is our 3rd season attending the Kids’ Koncerts, they are fantastic musical experiences, incredibly kid-friendly and performances you don’t want to miss.

Inspector Tovey Investigates Melody commenced with the singing of Happy Birthday. Children who had birthdays either last week or this week were asked to raise their hands. Fortuitously my boys’ birthdays fall within that time frame; my sons thought it pretty special that the VSO played, and the Orpheum audience sang, Happy Birthday to them. (I didn’t have the heart to tell them there were a few dozen other kids’ who raised their hands indicating it was their birthday too.)

As “Inspector Tovey” explored the concept of melody, the audience was led on a journey through glorious pieces such as Sousa’s Liberty Bell, a selection from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, the pas de deux from Swan Lake, an upbeat violin piece called Fiddle Faddle (which featured a tap-dancing Bramwell Tovey), Blue Wind, and more. A wonderful highlight were the children of some of the VSO members who joined their parents on stage for a selection of Twinkle Twinkle versions. The majority of the kids were under 6 years of age and all confidently played before an audience of hundreds. Amazing! I’m sure a number of kids went home asking when they could play on stage at the Orpheum.

The VSO Kids’ Koncert series has 4 more shows in its line up: Winter Solstice (Nov 29th); Gershwin’s Magic Key (Jan 10); The Mozart Experience (Feb 7); and Al Simmons – Symphonic Shenanigans (May 8).  If you have yet to embrace classical music yourself, the VSO Kids’ Koncerts are a fantastic way to discover a new music genre with your children.  The pieces selected are short in length and pleasing in sound.  We had a fantastic family afternoon of terrific music and can’t wait until the next concert on November 29th at 2pm at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver!

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