A few years ago, I was covering a concert cycle with an orchestra that was playing the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. At one of the rehearsals there were a couple of young kids (about 3 or 4 years old) observing as they had a family member on stage. The orchestra was playing quite well and as they reached the end of “There’s a place for us” (a tender and beautiful song with a great deal of longing) the young boy said “woooooooooow” in a voice full of wonder. What a beautiful moment!? To have captured the imagination of a young child through your music, and to transform their life in that small way! That is a profound difference to make in the world.
I love conducting concerts for kids and I hope it always has a place in my career. There is an absolute joy to sharing the beauty of classical music with young people, capturing their attention and helping them down a road that will enrich their entire life.