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Free Family Concert - Greg Smith

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Sun Aug 5 1pm

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Greg Smith: The Animated Orchestra (Greg Smith, narrator) [World Premiere | Festival Commission]

This year, Cabrillo Festival's annual Free Family Concert features a very special world premiere Festival commission composed by Greg Smith for the Festival's 50th anniversary! Maestra Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra are joined by Smith, our narrator, for what might be one of his best family/educational pieces yet! The Animated Orchestra is a narrated work about a cartoon score being performed at a symphony concert. The hero of the cartoon is a ferret (an animal known for its insatiable curiosity and playfulness) that sneaks into an instrument repair shop owned by a sleepy older gentleman. All sorts of adventures ensue as the ferret explores the shop’s many instruments. This event promises to be a perfect addition to the Festival’s wildly popular Free Family Concert program! These concerts are suitable for children and families alike and are designed to introduce kids to the wonderful world of orchestral music. The concert begins with the popular petting zoo-style Tour of the Orchestra where kids can make an up-close and personal connection to the different instruments and players!


Program Note

The Animated Orchestra (2012) World Premiere | Festival Commission
Greg Smith (b. 1957)

A versatile composer, Greg Smith has written music ranging from cable shows to cartoons, and has enjoyed a long association with the Walt Disney Company, including music for theme-park shows and feature films.

Smith has been a familiar figure at Cabrillo Festival Family Concerts for many years. Including this year’s commission, seven of his pieces have been performed at the Festival, many of which have been  world premieres. Previous Smith compositions include Mr. Smith’s Composition, performed in 1994 and again in 2000, The Orchestra Games in 1995, A Major, Minor Mystery in 1997 and 2002, The Zoo Song in 1999, Mr. Smith’s Bowl of Notes in 2004 and The Melodic Life in 2006. He has written the following note for The Animated Orchestra:

My earliest experience with educational/family concerts was with Marin Alsop while performing my first work in the genre, Mr. Smith’s Composition, which she also commissioned and premiered. One of these concerts also included the performance of a Scott Bradley score for a Tom and Jerry cartoon with Marin conducting live to projected film; a death-defying feat. And now years later when asked to write a new educational concert work for the celebration of the Cabrillo Festival’s 50th anniversary, it seems fitting to return to the inspiration of this animation music/live concert experience.

So the new work, The Animated Orchestra, is a narrated work about a cartoon score being performed at a symphony concert. The hero of the cartoon is a ferret. Ferrets are known for their insatiable curiosity and playfulness, and the hero of this cartoon is no exception. The setting is an instrument repair shop owned and operated by a sleepy older gentleman who lives above the shop. The ferret inadvertently sneaks in late one night. His tour of the shop’s instruments yields, let’s just say, interesting sounds. There’s more to the adventure as things progress beyond the shop and as for the ending . . . well, I can say with certainty that there is one.


Not recorded