TACOMA, Wash. – A host of kids’ favorite characters and tunes will lead the show, as the Jacobsen Junior concert unrolls an hour of unrivaled family entertainment this fall.
Pecos Bill will be back in his 10-gallon hat, along with young Peter and the scary Wolf, plus some enduring music from the Fab Four, The Beatles. Once again the instruments will take the lead in voicing the adventures of these colorful characters, while a narrator fills in the fun-and-gritty details of their stories.
“We aim to give kids that ‘Aha!’ moment—where they discover an instrument they love or the joys of music,” says creator and School of Music professor Duane Hulbert.
The Wonderful World of Music, a free concert for all, will take place starting at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, in Schneebeck Concert Hall. Everyone is welcome to the one-hour concert, and no tickets are required.
Hulbert and his wife, Judy Carlson Hulbert, who writes narrations for shows, have been attracting kids and adults to the Jacobsen Junior concerts for more than a decade, helping keep Tacoma’s music culture alive by inspiring the next generation.
The Wild Adventures of Pecos Bill is an original musical that Hulbert wrote three years ago, while on an artists’ retreat at Brush Creek Ranch, near Saratoga, Wyoming. Pecos Bill is an American folklore character who fell out of his family’s covered wagon, only to be rescued and raised by coyotes. The experience must have been energizing, because the rootin’-tootin’ cowboy went on to ride tornadoes, dig the Grand Canyon, and use rattlesnakes for lassoes. The narration, written by Judy Carlson Hulbert, is accompanied by 14 players on string, brass, wind, percussion, and piano. The ensemble will be conducted by Gerard Morris, Puget Sound’s director of bands.
Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, is a children’s classic about a Russian farm boy who tries to capture a hungry wolf that is menacing his family’s farm animals. The instruments take on the voices of the animals, as Peter goes about his precarious task. The piece will be performed by a student wind quintet from Puget Sound’s School of Music.
And then there is The Beatles. The Liverpool mop-tops may have been most famous in the older folks’ day, but many of the young have embraced the band too, with the resurgence of “retro-cool.”
Penny Lane, a favorite on the Magical Mystery Tour album, will be performed by a brass quintet. The song is a nostalgic look at the lives of the local barber, fireman, banker, and others living on the Liverpool street.
After the concert children from the audience will be able to talk to the musicians and inspect their instruments, in a hands-on “musical petting zoo” that has become a tradition.
The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund
awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.
For directions and a map of the campus: pugetsound.edu/directions