Symphonic Halloween spooktacular in Richmond

Adriel Velazquez, Contributing Writer

Strings, percussion, bones and ghosts — a symphony of spooky sounds is playing in Richmond to celebrate Halloween this weekend.

The Richmond Symphony will be hosting the Halloween Spooktacular concert at the Richmond CenterStage’s Carpenter Theatre on Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. The event is the first Union Bank and Trust LolliPops concert of the 2015-2016 season and will feature guest conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl. Tickets for the event are $12 for children and $17 for adults.

Before the concert, there will be a pre-show festival including activities such as the popular “instrument petting zoo,” which allows children to experiment with different instruments, crafts provided by the Children’s Museum of Richmond and a Sound Science Lab provided by the Science Museum of Virginia.

“Our educator will bring items to demonstrate how sound is created, discussing how you can make different volumes and pitches by lengthening (or) shortening amplitudes and frequency,” said Chrissy Caldwell, manager of communications at the Science Museum of Virginia.

The lab is meant to both entertain and educate, providing viewers with new insight into the creation of sound and how science plays into music.

“Something I personally find interesting is the mixture of science and art and our demonstration will explain how these two fields overlap and complement each other,” Caldwell said.

The Children’s Museum of Richmond will be providing crafts during the pre-concert festival for children to create and play with.

“Fostering an interest in music and the performing arts while incorporating all that makes Halloween such fun is a win-win situation,” said Kim Hollon, director of operations at the museum.

Hollon also talked about why the Children’s Museum decided to partner with the Richmond Symphony for this special event.

“The Children’s Museum exists to create innovative learning experiences for all children, and those who support them, that inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers,” Hollon said.

After the pre-festival, attendants are encouraged to dress up in a costume, pick up a trick-or-treat bag and enjoy the symphony show.

The symphony is going to be led by guest conductor Ankush Bahl, who received high praise and critical acclaim after both his Carnegie Hall debut and his work during the 2009 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar. From 2011 until 2015, Bahl was the assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

During the Halloween Spooktacular event, the Richmond Symphony will perform music from Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Frozen and more.

The organizers described the event as ideal for children ages 5 and up, but music lovers of all ages are welcome to attend. Caldwell said that the sound science lab alone is an interesting experience for everyone.

“It will be an interactive education demonstration, which will be great for all ages – and a pretty cool intro to the concert,” Caldwell said.

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