Symphony Soup instills a love of music

Jess Vogt

David Becker conducted Becca Young in the Madison Symphony Orchestra Tues., May 15 in Madison (Ann Bowen)

This past Tuesday morning, senior Becca Young performed in Madison, Wis. with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in “Symphony Soup,” conducted by Lawrence Director of Orchestral Studies and former professor at UW-Madison David Becker.
“Symphony Soup” is an annual event for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, performed this year in the new Overture Center in Madison. It is a short concert for grades K-3 consisting of short excerpts from famous musical scores that the kids have learned over the course of the school year.
This year, Lawrence’s own Becker, formerly Director of Orchestras at UW-Madison for 21 years, guest conducted the event.
“The kids are familiar with almost everything on the program,” commented Young, who played violin with the orchestra in Vivaldi’s “Spring,” danced classical ballet and modern to Copland’s “Hoe Down,” and sang an aria from Bizet’s “Carmen” in the performance.
“I invited her to join me on these concerts with the MSO as an inspiring role model for these young children,” said Becker.
As a college student, Young is closer in age to the students than most of the members of the MSO and so they can more easily relate to her.
For Becker, the purpose of the concert was “to introduce the children to the instruments of the symphony orchestra and to inspire them to explore the rewarding experience of studying an instrument, singing, conducting and dancing.”
“The idea is to teach kids that they can be involved in music any way they want,” Young said. The message is to get kids excited about music any way possible and to teach them “another way of being expressive.”
“I will also select a child from each concert to conduct the beginning of a Sousa March with the MSO and teach them that they also can study and be a conductor,” Becker continued.
About 3,000 children attended the two performances Tuesday morning, and they were attentive as Dr. Becker explained instruments and melodies and the pieces.
“They were surprisingly captivated for most of the concert,” said Young. “I believe very strongly in the message and the fact that it’s for young people. Overall, it was a very positive experience. I am so grateful to have been involved.

David Becker conducted Becca Young in the Madison Symphony Orchestra Tues., May 15 in Madison (Ann Bowen)

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