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Capathia jenkins Michael Krajewski 5   Credit Michael Tammaro

  Capathia Jenkins

Michael Krajewski

Atlanta Symphony Pops: fun for all ages

Canoe Kids

MelissaLowrie2110 150
Melissa Lowrie

By Melissa Lowrie

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Living close to a major metropolitan city, we have an exceptional array of cultural choices. Not sure why I haven’t been to the symphony, theatre or a gallery opening lately … oh, wait … life?

Broadening our horizons should be a greater priority.

So … past due for horizon broadening, I saw the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was giving a concert at Kennesaw State University … I was out of excuses.

For those who don’t frequent the symphony, (myself included) this isn’t a tux and ball gown situation. The patrons at the concert at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center at Kennesaw State had a business casual vibe. I even saw some folks in jeans … not stuffy at all.

I had chosen A Very Merry Holiday Pops show, with Michael Krajewski conducting. This concert marked the 69th concert of the ASO’s 2015-16 concert season.

Full discloser: I billed this trip as a gift for the kids’ grandmother. A multi-generational outing means no griping, middle-school attitude or general moodiness. (Hopefully.)

The concert started at 8 p.m. and doors opened at 7:30. The theatre was smaller than I had imagined, but it made for a more intimate setting.

The program had just the right balance of classics like “Winter Wonderland” and current pop: “North Pole Funk,” was a very entertaining dance number with an Atlanta holiday spin on the Bruno Mars song, “Uptown Funk.”

In between numbers, Krajewski would amuse the audience with banter, giving the musicians a breather and breaking up the program. One of his highlights was a detailed explanation as an answer to, “do you play an instrument?” The answer, “yes,” was demonstrated in the performance of “Sleigh Ride” when Krajewski skillfully played the whip to the delight of the patrons.

The whole program was fantastic, and the vocalists were amazing. Morris Robinson, the ASO’s 2015-16 Artist-In Residence drew wide eyes and wows from our section when he sang. Capathia Jenkins, fresh off a production of “Newsies” on Broadway, brought down the house with her rendition of the Mariah Carey hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Just between us, the outing was a huge success. (I don’t think we knew what to expect, therefore we were delightfully surprised, the kids included.) There were a few children in attendance, besides mine, and it was a perfectly family-friendly show that held the kids’ attention. Did I mention there was a huge choir of high school students there providing vocals as well? They were wonderful.

For those that would rather not make the trek to Atlanta Symphony Hall (although, that’s on my to-do list) the ASO has a couple more concerts planed at Kennesaw State, Feb. 19 and April 1. It was easy to buy tickets online (http://arts.kennesaw.edu) and the cost was extremely reasonable for a night of impressive musical entertainment. The KSU campus was easy to navigate and parking was not a problem. The ASO has also been known to perform at Falany Performing Arts Center in Waleska, among other North Georgia venues. A list of all the ASO offers this season can be found at www.atlantasymphony.org.

So take note, parents and grandparents of Canoe Kids, catching the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is definitely something you should put on your radar. Make the effort to broaden those horizons and inject a little culture … you’ll be glad you did.

Wherever you end up with your Canoe Kids, have a great time.

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