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Learn music basics to better appreciate classics

April 15, 2002|BY KATE COLEMAN

Elaine Braun compares listening to classical music to watching a football game.

"If you know the rules, you enjoy it more," she says.

Braun will talk about musical rules this afternoon during "Know the Score," the second of two music education programs for adults offered by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra Guild during the orchestra's 20th anniversary season.

Director of operations for the MSO since August 1999, Braun is calling her program "What Are You Listening For?"

"I'm trying to reach people who listen to different kinds of music and let them know that classical music is not the elite kind of thing people rule it out to be," she says.

Braun will speak in the upstairs dining room at Roccoco, the downtown Hagerstown restaurant. She'll have room for the instruments she plans to bring for people to try out.


She appreciates the guild's offering "Know the Score," an opportunity for people to find out about music.

Braun wears many hats in her work with the MSO. She serves as music librarian, personnel manager for the musicians, stage manager, education coordinator and artistic administrator - booking guest artists. Braun also coaches the brass section of the New Horizons Band, a band for senior adults, part of the Symphony Music Center at Hagerstown Community College. And on the side she continues to do music copying for Doc Severinsen, copying out individual musician's parts for particular arrangements. Severinsen, the Grammy award-winning former music director of "The Tonight Show" and principal pops conductor of four symphony orchestras, performed with the MSO last September.

She started piano lessons when she was about 6 years old, but didn't stick with the instrument because she didn't like to practice. She played piano again in high school, and sang during most of her school years.

It wasn't until she got to college, the University of Western Ontario, that Braun discovered instrumental music. "I realized there was a whole thing I had missed." She joined the band, and one day while her clarinet was in the shop being fixed, the instructor handed her a horn - a French horn - so she learned to play that instrument.

Braun will use the music of Mozart to illustrate the points she'll make in her program this afternoon. "The Mozart Experience," featuring Magic Circle Mime Company, will be the MSO's family concert Saturday, April 27, at 3 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre.

Braun will talk about how Mozart broke the rules - adding a few measures at the end, adding his own little bit to the classical form - "those little wow" moments.

"When you can hear these little things, it makes it more interesting," she says.

If you go . . .

"Know the Score"

Today, 3 p.m.


20 W. Washington St.


Roccoco will offer wine and hors d'oeurvres. A $5 voluntary contribution is suggested.

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