Greater Atlanta Christian School's (GAC) Fine Arts Programs presented Sergei Prokofiev's classic Peter and the Wolf to Fourth and Fifth graders from GAC and Meadowcreek Elementary earlier this month.
The composition provided students with a greater understanding of symphony orchestra instruments and encouragement to make informed decisions about which instrument they might want to pursue.
Sergei Prokofiev composed the music for the Russian folk tale Peter and the Wolf in 1936. He wrote it in two short weeks for a children's theatre in Moscow. It was an experiment for Prokofiev, who was a great advocate for music education. He intended to create a work "for eternity" designed to introduce children to orchestra instruments, with each character being represented by an instrument or group of instruments. Peter and the Wolf was an immediate success and continues to be enjoyed today by children worldwide.
It thrills our souls that 86 years later, GAC continues to conduct Prokofiev's experiment for the children in our community. Fourth and Fifth graders listened and watched the story told by the musicians playing the orchestra's instruments and watched the dancers telling the story through movement. The audience celebrated music and dance education in their most original forms: live from the stage. The storyline explores the theme that calculated risks are often needed to become a hero - which rings as true today as in 1936. The orchestra, directed by Mr. Wallace Conrath, was composed of both professional musicians from the GAC School of Music and the greater Atlanta community. The dancers, directed by Ms. Kara Johnson, were GAC Middle School students who take dance as an elective. GAC's President, Dr. Scott Harsh, presided as the story's narrator.
Immediately following the program, classroom teachers guided their students on stage to attend the Instrument "Petting" Zoo so the students could see and hear the instruments up close. The dancers bid them farewell as they exited the lobby to return to their classrooms. Printed programs, including a Symphony Orchestra Activity Packet, were given to each audience member.
"Our Fine Arts programs consistently perform highly entertaining and complex productions that stimulate conversations and creativity. I am very proud of the efforts of our teachers, musicians, and students in the ways they enrich and educate our community," shared Dr. Harsh. "I hope this becomes an annual offering for GAC students and that we can continue to invite neighboring schools to enjoy."