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WSO draws music lovers to library

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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Children and caregivers filed into the Needham Free Library’s Community Room to enjoy a classical music concert on March 3.

Four strings players from the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra (WSO) sat with their instruments at the front of the room, practicing before being introduced by WSO President Leslie Holmes, who has been with the group for 23 seasons and has spent 19 as president.

Max Hobart, the music director, who watched the concert from the back of the room, is celebrating his twenty-sixth season.

“This is a very friendly, warm, accepting, and supportive group of people, so it inspires loyalty, which is a good thing,” said Leslie. “You can hear that when they play: the warmth.”

The orchestra proved its passion and enjoyment of playing with its first song: a fanfare, which featured a trumpet player. Some of the caregivers recognized it as the theme for PBS’s “Masterpiece Theatre.”

The group also performed Baroque-era pieces, including music from George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” suites.

The WSO also chose to add an educational component to the concert by teaching children fun facts about some of the string instruments they played. The children learned about what makes violins, violas, and cellos unique, and even heard how the violin can make sound effects, like chirping birds, a truck backing up, and an ambulance.

They also performed “Eine kleine Nachtmusik,” Mozart’s most famous serenade. Some of the children danced, too, which was more than welcomed by the orchestra players.

As the orchestra performed, each child found his or her own way to appreciate the music. A handful of older children read their chapter books while listening, occasionally lifting their gaze to watch the show. Many of younger children spent the concert nestled against their parents and sitting on their caregivers’ laps. However they listened, it was thoroughly enjoyed.

Aside from informal concerts at local libraries and community centers, the WSO plays six shows each year at Wellesley’s MassBay Community College auditorium. They will soon be performing a family concert called “Heroes and Superheroes,” during which children in attendance will be invited to join dressed as their favorite heroes.

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