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Have No Fear: Fortissimo is Here
Have No Fear: Fortissimo is Here
Posted on 03/26/2019
On March 20, Over 1,200 fifth-graders battled the forces of bad music with the Asheville Symphony!By: Benjamin Rickert, BCS Communications, and Ms. Laura Mitchell, Arts Education Specialist

Haven’t we all wished at least once that there was a superhero to rid the world of bad music?

That was the theme of this year’s Asheville Symphony Young People’s Concert on March 20, when over 1,200 BCS fifth-graders met that very hero! At the the interactive concert in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville Symphony Music Director Darko Butorac played the role of the superhero Fortissimo, who kept the students laughing and learning about music throughout the performance as he “battled” the dastardly Dr. Dissonance.

Right from the start, students were part of the theatrical concert as they were asked to answer musical questions, sing major and minor chords, clap, and cheer on their harmonious hero. Meanwhile, they learned all about dynamics, rhythm, instruments, and harmony.

At the concert’s conclusion, several Joe P. Eblen Intermediate students were overheard saying, “That was SO amazing!”

A fifth-grader is dressed for his day with the symphony.Another student wanted to see the show again.

"This is part of the point of attending", explained BCS Arts Education Specialist Laura Mitchell. "We want our students to experience performances outside the school, gain an appreciation for the arts so they will one day be patrons of the arts, and also to understand the importance of music in our everyday lives.”

This year’s concert included recognizable excerpts of classical staples, such as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia, and Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird. Students were also thrilled hear a few modern superhero themes cleverly worked into the repertoire, as well.

Mitchell hopes that students will now pay more attention to the ways that music continually sets the mood around them, such as in movies, or at weddings, funerals, and parties.

“Our world would be very strange without musicians!” she said. “The students also now have a better idea of which instrument they might like to learn to play next year when they are offered orchestra and strings in the sixth grade.”

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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