Featuring Local Talent on the Fox Cities P.A.C. Stage

On Wednesday, January 29, over 2,000 students came to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center to watch an Amcor Education Series performance. However, this performance was not like others in the series. While most shows within the Amcor Education Series involve individual performing groups from outside of the state, all of the participants in this show were local, in fact, some of them were even the students’ peers. Peter and the Wolf and Other Classics was presented at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the Makaroff Youth Ballet and Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra. Through this performance, students watched classic stories come to life through music and movement as a new way to experience a folktale.
Peter and the Wolf opened the door to the complex, beautiful arts of classical ballet and music in accessible and inclusive ways,” said Emily Bowles, interim executive director for Makaroff Youth Ballet. “It gave our young company members an opportunity to perform alongside seasoned professionals from the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra.”
For many of the young students in the audience, it was the first time they had been introduced to ballet. Through this show, students were shown how music and art can be related, how music has a storyline and how music affects movement. Students coming out of the theater were standing and spinning around on their toes trying to imitate the ballerinas they had just seen.   
“Performing for the first and second graders was definitely different than performing for family and friends. I really felt as though that performance had an impact on them that I hope will stick with them for the rest of their lives and inspire them to pursue their interests and passions,” said Lily, a dancer with Makaroff Youth Ballet. “Being a student myself, I’m so grateful to have been given an opportunity to perform for students and I hope that they enjoyed the performance.”
Peter and the Wolf and Other Classics was supported in part by grants from the Mielke Family Foundation and Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. With these grants, all the first or second graders in the Appleton and Shawano Area School Districts were able to attend the performance free of charge.
Peter and the Wolf and Other Classics won’t be the only education show this season to feature local talent onstage as Link Up returns to the Fox Cities P.A.C. stage for the second year in a row. This program out of Carnegie Hall is an interactive experience for the elementary students in the audience who are invited to sing and play their recorders along with the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra onstage. The Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra is made up of high school students, and who serve as role models of what students can do in the future with music.
The elementary music teachers who reserve seats to attend Link Up are required to attend a professional development workshop to learn the curriculum of the show, interact with teaching artists from the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and share their best practices. Link Up: The Orchestra Moves features songs from famous composers including Mozart, Bizet, Strauss and more.
To learn more about how the Amcor Education Series brings classroom lessons to life, click here.
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