Symphony or Orchestra – What’s the Difference? LSO Symphony for Youth Concert March 2017 – Register Now

You want your children to have an appreciation for classical music…
But you don’t know the difference between a cantata and a sonata; and the only culture your kiddoes are getting lately is from a little cup of yogurt in the fridge?

Here’s your opportunity for a culture fix!

The La Crosse Symphony Orchestra offers a unique experience through the annual Symphony for Youth concert program. Each year, over 2,500 students from around the area attend this concert which is designed to inspire a love of orchestral music through the professional performance of a musical masterpiece.
Symphony or Orchestra – What’s the Difference?

The LSO Symphony for Youth concert performance is not just an orlso-symphony-for-youth-concert-2016-1dinary concert  — it’s a complete musical learning experience!  Not only do you get Ronald McDonald dressed for the occasion in a tuxedo, but you get the combined experience of the musicians led by conductor, Alexander Platt, as they introduce the instruments of the orchestra and make the music come alive.

Students experience the excitement and joy of attending a live symphony orchestra in a real concert hall and will become familiar with individual instruments, the different sections of the orchestra, different movements of the piece of music being presented; leaving with a better understanding of how all of it works together to become a symphony.


To register for the LSO Symphony for Youth Program,
send an email with your contact information:
Kelly Zimmerman, Symphony for Youth Project Manager
La Crosse Symphony Orchestra
You will get a packet of information and a registration form.

Registration Deadline: November 14, 2016
Cost: $4 per person (student or teacher)
Concert Date: March 16th, 2017
Performance Times: 11:00 am, 12:15 am, and 1:30 am.

The program is geared toward students in 3rd through 5th grades
and is held at Viterbo University Fine Arts Center in La Crosse.
More info here:

2017 LSO Symphony for Youth Concert will feature pieces composed by Sergei Prokofiev: Finale from “The Classical Symphony” and Peter and the Wolf.

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25, Classical

Prokofiev was a composer caught between two cultures. Born into an affluent musical family, he left the Soviet Union in the summer of 1918, shortly after the 1917 Revolution. For the next 17 years he lived in Paris and toured the United States, returning to his native country in the mid-1930s never to leave again.

Royal Ballet School,1995. Choreography by Matthew Hart. Narrator: Anthony Dowell. Music by Sergei Prokofiev

The year 1917 was a traumatic one for Russia. The February Revolution had deposed the Tsar, and the October Revolution brought the Bolsheviks to power. Meanwhile, on the international front, Russia was losing disastrously in its war against the central powers, Germany and Austria. In the spring and summer of that year Prokofiev retired to a village not far from Petrograd (now and formerly St. Petersburg) and, as if oblivious to the earth-shattering turmoil around him, composed at a furious pace. Among the creations of that period was his sunny Symphony No. 1, which he subtitled “The Classical.”

The Symphony was an experiment. An accomplished pianist, Prokofiev routinely composed at the piano, although he noticed: “…thematic material composed without the piano was often better in quality…I was intrigued with the idea of writing an entire symphonic piece without the piano…So this was how the project of writing a symphony in the style of Haydn came about…it seemed it would be easier to dive into the deep waters of writing without the piano if I worked in a familiar setting.” This delicate, nostalgic Symphony premiered in Petrograd in April 1918 amidst civil war and social upheaval with the composer on the podium.

Even with the Russian Revolution raging in the background, the Symphony No. 1, was Prokofiev’s result – a wonderfully light-hearted symphony, full of humor and whimsy and a certain amount of impertinence for the Classical form. And for great romping fun, the Finale is a kind of finale to end all finales – rollickingly fast and breathless — it plays like a brief virtuoso concerto for each section of the orchestra.  The whole effect of the Classical Symphony is of smiles and delight, and makes it a classic in its own right.

Prokofiev, started composing this piece in 1916, and finished it in 1917. It is written in loose imitation of the style of Haydn (and to a lesser extent, Mozart), and is widely known as the Classical Symphony, a name given to it by the composer. It premiered on April 21, 1918, conducted by Prokofiev himself and has become one of his most popular and beloved works.

Peter and the Wolf [Sergei Prokofiev] by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Spitting Image Workshop.

To impress your friends and maybe get a little music education into your kids, here’s some things you can dazzle them with before you get seated.

  • Symphony comes from the Greek for harmonious
  • Orchestra refers the chorus that was used in ancient Greek theatre to comment on the action of the play, as well as the area of the stage in which the chorus was situated.
  • A ‘symphony’ is an extended piece of classical music, usually in four movements, written for orchestras with full percussion sections, piano, harp, bassoons, oboes, an organ, a special guy to play the triangle, etc.
  • Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which contains the famous “Ode to Joy” calls for: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, timpani, violin I and violin II, viola, cello, bass viol, and a full chorus with solo soprano, alto, tenor, and bass vocalists.
  • Orchestra is used to describe a musical group that includes a wind, percussion, and string section—specifically violins, violas, cellos, and basses. If there are no strings, it’s a band with a fancy name, like wind symphony or concert band or Coldplay).
  • All symphonies are orchestras, but only the big orchestras are symphonies.
  • An orchestra becomes a symphony orchestra, or just symphony, for short. Symphony orchestras have four sections of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
  • A full-sized modern orchestra consists of more than one hundred musicians usually playing anywhere from eighteen to twenty-five different kinds of instruments.
  • Within these sections there are groups of instruments that are also called “sections”: the viola section is part of the string section, for example, and the trumpet section is part of the brass section. Other instruments, such as the saxophone and the guitar, are added if they’re needed.
  • Among the regular members of an orchestra, not everybody plays all the time: for any one piece, the kinds and (especially in the case of the woodwinds and brass) numbers of instruments on stage depend on what the composer has specifically called for in the music.

Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Conducted by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.

Here’s Peter and the Wolf in Japanese:

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


La Crosse Symphony Orchestra
201 Main Street, Suite 230
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone: 608-783-2121



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