GRASS VALLEY, Calif. April 4, 2017 – When one of the world’s greatest trumpeters, Tine Thing Helseth, sat down among children in the audience while playing Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca,” the surprised look on their faces transformed quickly to one of pure delight.
“It was loud, but it was beautiful,” said third-grader Zion Hartfield.
Helseth and her acclaimed tenThing brass ensemble were in Grass Valley March 19 for a sold out performance presented by InConcert Sierra. The all-female Norwegian group then played the following day to 450 Western Nevada County students for InConcert Sierra’s annual Third Grade Education concerts.
As Helseth and nine other musicians wove their way around the scores of third-grade students during the Mozart piece, the children got a unique opportunity to hear the distinct sound each brass instrument contributed to the classic movement in a live concert setting.
On stage, the ensemble demonstrated the wide range of brass instruments pitch and timbre through works such as Grieg’s “March of the Trolls” and Copland’s “Hoe-down” from Rodeo. They even solicited a boisterous response after their rendition of the French nursery song Frère Jacques on just the mouthpieces of their instruments.
Each spring, InConcert books an ensemble or group to perform at its Third Grade Education Concerts following their Third Sunday Series concert with the arts organization.
“InConcert is dedicated to encouraging the imagination of young minds through music,” said Artistic Director Ken Hardin. “To that end, we provide bussing and access to this youth concert at no charge to all interested third-grade classrooms in our community. It’s important to us for them experience live music in a concert venue, especially one with great acoustic value.”
The week before the concert, volunteer docents went in to meet with students in their classes, discuss the music they were going to hear and prepare the kids for the experience, including hearing a selection of songs recorded by tenThing. Classes from Bell Hill Academy, Clear Creek, Cottage Hill, Forest Charter, Margaret Scotten and Union Hill schools participated.
Hardin said that of the hundreds who attended the educational concert, sparking a newfound curiosity for classical music in even a few of the students makes it worthwhile.
Following the March 20 performance, Zion spent the evening sharing videos of tenThing from YouTube with his mom and little brother. He researched Helseth, considered among the top trumpeters in the world, and then he looked up how to play a brass instrument, a new interest since the concert, said his mom Marah Lindley.
In addition to their annual Third Grade Education Concerts, InConcert Sierra also offers free youth tickets at many of their performances with the purchase of an adult ticket, grants for instruments and music lessons, and more. To learn more about the nonprofit arts organization or their educational offerings, please visit www.inconcertsierra.org