“I once had a whim and I had to obey it, to buy a French Horn in a second-hand shop.
I polished it up and I started to play it in spite of the neighbors who begged me to stop.”

                                                                                    –Flanders & Swann, ‘Ill Wind’

This week’s virtual “Music Discovery” program of the North Carolina Symphony was brought to the patrons of Harper and Barbee Libraries courtesy of the PNC “Grow Up Great” program, bringing quality early education into the community, and facilitated by Jason Spencer, the symphony’s Director of Education.

Rachel Niketopoulos of the North Carolina Symphony warmed up the Zoom audience by reading from a charming book entitled “Mole Music” about a mole who, weary of watching television in his underground burrow, yearns to play music. Thanks to a mail-order violin and some independent study, he soon produces serviceable tunes, then remarkable melodies that vibrate to the ground above, sowing peace among enemies and otherwise delighting all who hear it.

Next, Rachel showcased a variety of horns from the modern French horn to actual animal horns and a conch shell. The audience participation portion of the program included Rachel playing some familiar tunes on the French horn, while the dozen or so children participating on Zoom joined in with their instruments, including a bongo drum, harmonica, guitar, some recorders, and a keyboard. Rachel clearly loved interacting with children, and they had plenty of pent-up energy and musical talent to share with her.

Even during the pandemic, our libraries continue to engage children with interactive learning experiences. Who knows? Perhaps one day we will see one or more of these youngsters performing with the North Carolina Symphony.