General-public symphonic concerts and matinées for young audiences/families

Are you looking for an innovative concert that is sure to educate and move your audiences as well as raise their awareness while making them discover the symphony orchestra from every angle?

What would you say to a show in which music and theatre mesh perfectly together to highlight all of the orchestra’s musicians and their conductor?

Orchestration+

2 – Flute
2 – Oboe
2 – Clarinet
2 – Bassoon

4 – Horn
2 – Trumpet
2 – Trombone
1 – Bass Trombone
1 – Tuba

1 – Timpani
3 – Percussion

8 – Violon I
6 – Violon II
5 – Viola
4 – Cello
2 – Double bass
Strings: Indication of the minimal number required

1 – Harp *
* Symphonic Vikings

1. Symphonic Buzz—Let There Be Brass!

Brass Quintet, Actor and Symphony Orchestra

Buzz Brass joins the Symphony Orchestra to offer the general public an eight-tiered program that presents the many sides of brass instruments. This highly creative concert takes you out of the ordinary with its humorous staging through which various situations highlight the brass (the quintet’s as well as the orchestra’s) and lead to a grand finale!

AUDIENCE
General public (Adults)

TECH
Lighting (plan provided) / 1 wireless headset / a minimum space of 8 feet/2.5 m between the orchestra and the edge of the stage

Repertoire & Scenario+

– – – – – PART 1

As an introduction, the conductor has the orchestra perform a work of his choice that particularly highlights his ensemble (without the presence of the Buzz Brass quintet).

– – – – – PART 2

King Elidor
Enrico O. Dastous

To open, Buzz Brass proposes an opera without voices whereby each of the quintet’s musicians impersonates an operatic character. Instead of singing, they play their brass. As to the narrator, he introduces the characters, describes the action and accompanies the quintet’s musicians on the stage. Although the opera is dramatic, it is clearly of the humorous variety!

Musical presentation of each character with exposition of their respective themes (their leitmotivs). While the orchestra plays, Buzz Brass’s musicians enter each in turn, dressed in their costumes.

Elidor: The King
Herman: The King’s younger brother
Angelino: A Noble Knight, loyal to the King
Malvolio: A Dark Knight, cruel and unscrupulous
Adelaide: The Princess, the King’s daughter

The opera then opens in the castle’s gardens…
It is all done in very funny fashion and set to original Canadian music of great beauty!

– – – – – PART 3

Montréal Hora Cero
(Fuga y Misterio, Buenos Aires Hora Cero, Otoño Porteño, Primavera Porteña, La Muerte del Ángel)
Astor Piazzolla
Arr. Javier Sebastián Asencio

Here, Buzz Brass quintet performs famous Latin airs by Astor Piazzolla, brought together in a dynamic arrangement that calls for 2 percussionists from the orchestra: the two leave their section to join the quintet at the front of the stage, the 1st on vibraphone and the 2nd on a drum set consisting of snare drum, hi-hat and suspended cymbals (so no bass drum nor toms).

– – – – – PART 4

A Love’s Reflections
Javier Sebastián Asencio

Buzz Brass next proposes a second original Canadian work, whose sentimental music sets the mood for a humorously romantic number that is intentionally over the top and assumed, all in good-natured tone and taste. Thus—with the participation of a volunteer woman randomly selected from the audience, who gladly accepts to climb onto the stage where she will be respectfully featured—, the quintet’s five musicians each in turn musically “court” her and so try to win her heart.

———- Intermission ————

– – – – – PART 5

As an introduction to the second half of the concert, the conductor has the orchestra perform another work of his choice that spotlights his ensemble (without the presence of the Buzz Brass quintet).

– – – – – PART 6

Classicism
Arr. Enrico O. Dastous

Water Music
Georg-Friedrich Haendel

The Four Seasons: Spring
Antonio Vivaldi

Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Johann-Sebastian Bach

Surprise Symphony and Divertimento
Joseph Haydn

A Little Night Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No. 9
Ludwig van Beethoven

In a comic staging that combines music and theatre, Buzz Brass, its actor and the orchestra take the audience through the aesthetic musical transition from Baroque to Classicism in the space of half a dozen excerpts, each of which is better known than the next!

– – – – – PART 7

The Maestro
Arr. Enrico O. Dastous

Symphony No. 5                                 
Ludwig van Beethoven

Hallelujah
Georg-Friedrich Haendel

The Imperial March, Duel of the Fates and Force Theme (Star Wars)
John Williams

Just a Closer Walk
Traditional American Folk

When The Saints Go Marching In       
Traditional American Folk

While Buzz Brass is still at the front of the stage, the narrator now introduces the public to the conductor’s role. The narrator steps onto the podium to conduct the orchestra—without, however, having the required skills (all of which is played very comically)! Striving to counter the strictly Classical music that the conductor is trying to impose, the musicians resist by means of jazz. Things get out of hand to such chaos that the REAL conductor intervenes! The narrator surrenders! The musicians are immediately reconciled with their true conductor and good-heartedly perform with him the end of the last work that had been interrupted.

– – – – – PART 8

La Péri’s Martian Bolero
Arr. Javier Sebastián Asencio

La Péri – Fanfare
Paul Dukas

Bolero
Maurice Ravel

Mars, the Bringer of War (The Planets)
Gustav Holst

Beyond the soloists and great stars of the Classical music world, it is now the orchestra’s turn to make its name. The rhythmic ostinato that is specific to Ravel’s famous Bolero serves as the main theme in this medley of spectacular pieces that are all perfectly suited to delight the audience. In this arrangement, each member of the brass quintet is in turn assigned the Bolero melody, even the solo. Once done, each member of Buzz joins the orchestra’s brass section. In a joyful and majestic finale of Classical orchestral music, all of the musicians rejoice to be playing a last piece with their real conductor!

– – – – – ENCORE

Sabre Dance
Aram Khachaturian
Arr. Javier Sebastián Asencio

To the audience’s applause, the musicians of Buzz leave the orchestra’s brass section and come forward to join the conductor downstage and take a bow before they segue into a last, quick orchestral piece to go out with a bang. We bring to your attention that the arrangement draws a very interesting parallel between Khachaturian’s Saber Dance and composer Danny Elfman’s theme to the television series The Simpsons. The perfect encore!

2. Symphonic Buzz—The History of Music

Brass Quintet, Actor and Symphony Orchestra

Buzz Brass joins the Symphony Orchestra to offer young audiences an incomparable odyssey that travels through space and time at a thrilling tempo to explore the history of music of the Western world from pre-historic times to the present day!

The show is just bursting with energy and proves to be of astonishing originality paired with the skilful wielding of jolly humour. With already over 600 presentations in 3 languages and on 3 continents in its original version for brass quintet and actor alone, it has gained rave reviews from students, teachers and journalists alike, in addition to winning numerous awards and honours.

Beyond the laughs and the fun that this captivating symphonic experience generates, this concert seeks to educate and move young audiences as well as heighten their awareness by making them discover the symphony orchestra, its conductor, its musicians and especially the brass instruments, and all through the use of great music.

TEACHER’S MANUAL
A Teacher’s Manual accompanies this show. It allows teachers to first prepare the students for the show’s theme, and then serves as a guide to review with students what they have learned.

DURATION
60 minutes

AUDIENCE
Elementary schools (7-year-olds and up)
Secondary schools
Families (5-year-olds and up)

TECH
Lighting (plan provided) / 1 wireless headset / a minimum space of 8 feet/2.5 m between the orchestra and the edge of the stage

Repertoire & Scenario+

—      Prehistory
From the very onset, Buzz Brass joyously plunges into the heart of the matter with its primitive brass instruments and its tribal dance set to a choreography that is as colourful as it is rhythmic, drawing its inspiration from our distant ancestors!

The Cavemen’s Rap
Johanne Latreille, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

—      Antiquity
With the advent of Antiquity’s first civilizations, the instruments have evolved over the centuries and—with all due respect to Caesar!—music has refined itself to the point of offering melodies with simple harmonies and livening up everyday life.

Song of the Sicilian Shepherds and Sikkinis Dance
Anonymous, arr. Jason De Carufel and Sylvain Lapointe

Roman Calls
Jason De Carufel and Sylvain Lapointe

20th Century Fox Fanfare
Alfred Newman, arr. Enrico O. Dastous

—      Middle Ages
Buzz Brass demonstrates how music gained structure in the course of the Middle Ages, with its polyphony resorting to clever melodies and harmonies. The Western world’s music known as Classical that is familiar to us begins to take shape…

Venetia, Mundi Splendor / Michael Cui Steno Domus
Motet for the Installation of the Doge Michele Steno, 19 Dec. 1400
Johannes Ciconia

Antiphony to the Holy Virgin
Anonymous Gregorian chant

—      Renaissance
The Renaissance’s “rebirth” and its enormous boom of virtually every facet of civilization got humankind—and its music—to emerge from the medieval times’ Dark Ages.

Canzon per sonare no. 1 “La spiritata”
Giovanni Gabrieli

Now is the Month of Maying
Thomas Morley, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

The Marie-Golde
Anthony Holborne

 —      Baroque
In the image of the Baroque era, Buzz Brass’s musicians express themselves with effervescence! Historically, music will henceforth be principally based on major and minor keys, as it is to this day.

The Four Seasons: Spring
Antonio Vivaldi, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. Frederick Mills

—      Classicism
The ensemble gets us marvelously transitioning from the Classical era’s elegance and relative reserve to lead us to the beginnings of the Romantic era’s expression.

Surprise Symphony and Divertimento
Joseph Haydn, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

A Little Night Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

9th Symphony
Ludwig van Beethoven, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

—      Romanticism
Here, Buzz Brass proposes an opera without voices whereby each of the quintet’s musicians impersonates an operatic character. Instead of singing, they play their brass. As to the narrator, he introduces the characters, describes the action and accompanies the quintet’s musicians on the stage. Although the opera is dramatic, it is clearly of the humorous variety!

King Elidor
Enrico O. Dastous

 —      20th Century
Until this point in humankind’s history, the only way to hear music had been to be where it was being played. With the appearance of sound recording, radio, cinema and television, music reaches an ever broader audience, which Buzz Brass illustrates in an entertaining and diversified musical staging!

Bubble Jazz Cocktail
Marie-Josée Poulin

Decadence
Enrico O. Dastous

The Rite of Spring
Igor Stravinsky, arr. Benoît Côté

Johnny B. Goode
Chuck Berry, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

Singin’ In The Rain
Nacio Herb Brown, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

On Broadway
Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

James Bond Theme
Monty Norman, arr. Jocelyn Leblanc

Super Mario Bros. Theme
Koji Kondo, arr. Jocelyn Leblanc

Hockey Night in Canada
Dolores Claman, arr. Jocelyn Leblanc

—      The Maestro
In The Maestro, Buzz Brass’s narrator introduces the public to the conductor’s role, and no less than by stepping onto the podium himself and conducting the musicians—without, however, having the required skills (all of which is played very comically)! Striving to counter the strictly Classical music that the conductor is trying to impose, the musicians resist by means of jazz. Things get out of hand to such chaos that the REAL conductor intervenes! The narrator relents, the musicians are immediately reconciled with their true conductor and they good-heartedly perform with him the end of the last work that had been interrupted.

The Maestro
Arr. Enrico O. Dastous

5th Symphony                                     
Ludwig van Beethoven

Hallelujah
Georg-Friedrich Haendel

The Imperial March, Duel of the Fates and Force Theme (Star Wars)
John Williams

Just a Closer Walk                                                    
Traditional American Folk

When the Saints Go Marching In        
Traditional American Folk

—      Finale
Beyond the soloists and great stars of the Classical music world, it is now the orchestra’s turn to take center stage. In a joyful and majestic finale of Classical orchestral music, all of the musicians rejoice to be playing with their real conductor for a last piece!

Sabre Dance
Aram Khachaturian
Arr. Javier Sebastián Asencio

3. Symphonic Vikings

Brass Quintet and Symphony Orchestra

The Scandinavian legend of a dragon slayer is adapted for the stage and set to music, laughter and thrills! Featuring fearless Viking warriors, it includes a magnanimous king, a dragon to slay and an unlikely hero. In this show combining music and theatre, bullying is condemned and self-confidence is celebrated. Loaded with action, humour, emotion, and twists and turns, when a symphony orchestra finds itself at the very heart of a Viking tale, it’s sure to knock your helmet off!

TEACHER’S MANUAL
A Teacher’s Manual accompanies this show. It allows teachers to first prepare the students for the show’s theme, and then serves as a guide to review with students what they have learned.

DURATION
50 minutes

AUDIENCE
Elementary schools (7-year-olds and up)
Secondary schools
Families (5-year-olds and up)

TECH
Lighting (plan provided) / 5 wireless headsets / a minimum space of 12 feet/3.65 m between the orchestra and the edge of the stage

REPERTOIRE
Absolutely thrilling, the descriptive and original music has been composed especially for the show in the manner of a movie soundtrack. Although it proves relatively simple for an orchestra to set up, the show’s preparation requires a recommended minimum of 2 rehearsals lasting 2:30 hours each.

The Vikings
Enrico O. Dastous

Scenario+
The show sails between past and present times, Viking legend and orchestral reality, music and theater.

Right from the musical introduction, the legend’s story takes off with three feisty Viking warriors bursting onto the stage. In their wake, we meet Hott who is the target of their bullying. It is Björn the wise, defender of the oppressed and fighter of injustice, who will be helping Hott to show his true mettle and to triumph in the eyes of the magnanimous Viking chief.

Mirroring the legend, a plot takes place in contemporary reality, sometimes among the quintet’s front-stage performers and sometimes in the very midst of the orchestra. We are thus introduced to five musicians: a bookwormish trumpet player, another trumpet player and two trombonists who are a rather scornful lot and a noble horn player who strives to sagely edify the motley crew.

Travelling back and forth in both realms, between Viking legend and orchestral reality, the five dual protagonists juggle with their characters through numerous twists and turns and put on a dazzling act!

CASTING OF CHARACTERS
The show features the orchestra, its conductor, and the five guest performers that make up Buzz Brass. The latter join the orchestra musicians to impersonate the main characters—now Vikings, now concertante and orchestral musicians, a reflection of the show taking place in the two realms that are the legend and reality.

At times, the conductor is required to contribute to the plot by impersonating the legend’s valiant Viking chief and thus addressing the audience with a few short lines.

REACTIONS
“Daring production. Very well done. The young and young-at-heart were conquered, so was I!”
Anik Moulin, Estrie Express program, French-language CBC
May 2, 2013

“Wonderful! The music, the subject matter, the acting, the playing, a stage set out of nothing, a story. I hadn’t seen such a good children’s show in a long time.”
Marie Théorêt, teacher, Jardin-des-Lacs school
May 2, 2013

“What an amazing show!!! The students loved it and were at the edge of their seats. Please pass on how well done the entire production was to all performers and musicians.”
Jane O’Regan, Our Lady of Fatima School
January 19, 2016

“This show is a wonderful success and is backed by a solid team of professionals.”
Emmanuelle Pequin
Orchestre symphonique de Québec

Video gallery
Symphonic Vikings

Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke

French Version

Symphonic Vikings

National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa – NAC)

Bilingual Version (French and English)

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