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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University will host a family matinee performance which will include "Carnival of the Animals" on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m.
"This musical mélange includes the Saint-Saens classic as well as the 'Flight of the Bumblebee' by Rimsky-Korsakov and 'Snakes!' by Thomas Duffy," said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.
Piano soloists Barry Hannigan and Paavali Jumppanen will join the Bucknell University Symphonic Band and student soloists led by conductor William Kenny. Appropriate poetry by composer and humorist Peter Shickele will be read by narrator Peter Groff. Groff, Hannigan and Kenny are Bucknell professors.
"The performance is sure to delight and please children as well as the adults they bring along," Boswell said. "'Carnival' includes musical representations of elephants and tortoises, birds and fish, and even pianists and fossils. 'Carnival of the Animals' quickly became the French composer's most popular and most frequently performed work, and he was not very happy that his more serious pieces were eclipsed by something he tossed off lightly to entertain the children in his family."
Paavali Jumppanen, artist-in-residence at Bucknell this month, also will perform Chopin's "Butterfly" Etude on the concert. His residency is made possible by funding from the Kushell Endowment of Bucknell University.
The performance is free to the public through the generosity of Clayton and David Lightman and members of the Weis Center Green Room Board. "We are blessed in this community to have people who care so deeply about bringing the arts to the children of the area," said Boswell.
The 2010-11 season of Weis Center Events is generously supported by grants from the Bucknell University Association for the Arts and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support for the series is provided by numerous and generous private donors, including members of the Weis Center Green Room Circle and Green Room Board.
The next event in the Weis Center Series is a concert with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, performing music by Barber, Korngold, Walton and Rimsky-Korsakov on Friday, March 4. Violinist Philippe Quint will be the featured soloist.
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