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MSO goes 'beyond the junkyard' at Family Concert

November 30, 1999|By DAN DEARTH

The Maryland Theatre's seats were filled Saturday with little bodies whose feet had a hard time touching the floor.

They were attending "Just Beyond the Junkyard," this year's Maryland Symphony Orchestra Family Concert.

Tales & Scales, a theater troupe from Indiana, performed with the accompaniment of the MSO to a crowd of about 400 people.

The troupe used horns and drums to complement the dialog of "Just Beyond The Junkyard," a play that taught children several lessons.

One of those lessons was to avoid guns.

Tales & Scales flutist Zara Lawler said after the performance that the troupe plays about 200 shows a year from coast to coast.

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The troupe will travel next week to Pennsylvania and Buffalo, N.Y., she said.

Some of the shows are based on poetry, Tales & Scales oboist Meaghan Heinrich said. Past performances have included putting to music Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky," she said.

Heinrich said Tales & Scales performances typically are written as a chamber piece and orchestrated later.

Tales & Scales' four members mingled and played their instruments for the children before the show.

Kah-sim Huntley, 8, of Hagerstown, said the performers excited him, but he wasn't exactly sure why.

Sisters Katie Metzger, 5, and Holly Metzger, 6, of Smithsburg also liked the show.

The girls said they particularly enjoyed it when the members of Tales & Scales tapped drumsticks on stage props that included a stepladder and plastic buckets.

Their mother, Robin, said the MSO's Symphony Saturdays offer a great opportunity to introduce children to music.

"I'm hoping to start (Katie and Holly) on piano this year," she said.

Jeanne Singer of Hagerstown said she has been taking her daughter, Abby, 8, to Symphony Saturdays for the past four years.

The youngsters get a chance to try playing the instruments before the shows, she said.

"They do a great job," Singer said. "It's nice to expose kids to (music) so young."

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