If you’re anything like me you might be a bit nervous about bringing your children to a “concert”. It sounds so formal and proper and surely a great way for your kids to show you up in a conservative environment!
These were my thoughts when my wonderful sister who is a loving PANK (professional aunt no kids) bought myself and my two children aged seven and nine tickets to a “Space Odyssey”.
It was a mid-afternoon show at the national concert hall in Dublin on a rainy Saturday in September.
As it turns out I need not have worried! The people at the National Concert Hall and especially the ECO band know what they are doing.
They know about kids.
Instead of the large auditorium the show was in the much smaller and more intimate John Field room. The Georgian style room was transformed into a stellar chamber. Planets hung from the ceiling, green, red and blue lighting contributed to the outer-space experience.
The concert opened with a warm-up, sing-along song “Space is the place” children and grown-ups were encouraged to sing along.
The atmosphere was chilled and relaxed. Soft cushions and fleece blankets were laid out in front of the stage for children to lie/sit/roll on. Socks and shoes were thrown off as the little ones danced and sang. There was only one rule; “no stage invasion”! The band delicately requested that parents don’t allow children to climb onto the stage.
The ECO band was made up of five musicians, including Jupiter- Joe and Big-Bang Brendan. The drum kit had a silvery covering which sparkled against the cosmic lighting in the room.
The only thing missing was a conductor and junior members of the audience were invited to take-up this important role. There were giggles and chuckles as children raised their hands and lowered them to control the volume of the music.
After a jazzy rendition of Twinkle-Twinkle little star the band moved on to some David Bowie inspired music. The “Starman” was waiting in the sky and children bobbed along as if they were “Walking on the moon”.
Towards the end of the show instruments were distributed and everyone made music together.
My children loved it and luckily it was an hour long which is just about the limit for my children anyway.
ECO, the Education, Community and Outreach program was launched in 2015. The aim of the initiative is to engage people of different backgrounds and ages with music. By making music interactive and fun the interest and appreciation of audiences are stimulated.
The ECO band will be back again to perform on October 31st at the National Concert Hall when a Halloween themed event promises to frighten and fascinate in equal measure!!!!!!!!!!