Our Young People’s Concert 2020 was a resounding success, with approximately 2,000 students, parents, and teachers in attendance for our performance of Peter and the Wolf! Conducted by Music Director Fouad Fakhouri, the orchestra performed 4 pieces – Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, 1st Movement, The National Anthem, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” with narrator Ken Smith, and we closed with “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philips Sousa.
We are thrilled to share that 8 brand new schools in the rural Texoma area attended the performance, as well as WFISD elementary schools, and almost 200 home schooled students. The opportunity to provide students with an experience they may not otherwise be able to have, especially one both educational and related to the arts, is a great privilege. If you attended this year, we hope to see you again for our 2021 event, and if you are an area school who was unable to attend, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the information for our 3rd Annual Young People’s Concert on January 22nd, 2021!
NEW THIS YEAR was an exciting partnership with the Arts Council and Region 9 to bring our first annual Young People’s Fine Arts Discovery Day to over 425 students! Students experienced fine arts exhibits, presentations, and activities promoting discovery in the arts. These included origami, storytelling, square dancing, instrument demonstrations, and more! Local arts organizations provided an up-close and personal look at their specialty for students to experience in a small group setting.
ADMISSION IS FREE in fulfillment of the WFSO’s mission to enrich, educate and entertain diverse audience in the Texoma community. We hope to foster an interest in live symphonic and choral music. Every year, we develop a curriculum for use by teachers as they see fit, that connects with both Texas State Standards, as well as the material for our performance.
RESERVATIONS: Reservations for Young People’s Concert and Fine Arts Discovery Day will be handled on a first-come basis on receipt of your registration form. To accommodate varying schedules, two concerts have been scheduled. Each class must have their own teacher(s) and chaperone(s) in attendance. All efforts will be made to accommodate your first choice. In 2021 there will be a cap to how many students can attend the Fine Arts Discovery Day due to space allowances, so when the information is released, please register early!
Narrator: Ken Smith
Pictured narrating “Peter and the Wolf” at our January 24th, 2020 Young People’s Concert.
Bio: North Carolina native Ken Smith has been active in theater and music for most of his life. A graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, he has staged operas, musical revues and plays across the country and taught voice, theater arts and mass communications at several universities and colleges.
For several years he was a popular radio personality in his home state. He was also the “voice” of the Opera Company of North Carolina – emceeing and hosting concerts and special events. An operatic bass baritone, he has sung in concerts and operas in the US and in Germany, where he was a student at the Stuttgart Conservatory.
Once Performance House Manager at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, he was also a production coordinator for the Municipal Opera of Bielefeld in Germany. For 15 years he was music minister for two churches, directing choirs and orchestras and writing and staging skits and plays.
Ken now lives in Durham, North Carolina where he teaches voice and serves as publicity director for the Wilmington (NC) Music Festival and the Eurasian Music Festival of New York City.
For eleven years he narrated “Peter and the Wolf” with the Fayetteville (North Carolina) Symphony under the baton of Maestro Fakhouri.
Access the “Welcome to the WFSO” video HERE.