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ASO Presents Multimedia Performance

Students from Alexandria, Fairfax County create works of art inspired by musical score on June 13.

The maestro's baton will double as a magic wand when the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) presents its first annual Children's Arts Festival. The multimedia event will feature a live orchestral performance of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Children's Suite for Orchestra" by renowned composer John Williams, combined with a dazzling visual display of art created by the area's school children.

ASO conductor Kim Allen Kluge will lead this feast for the eyes and ears on Sunday, June 13, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at the Northern Virginia Community College, 3001 N. Beauregard Street in Alexandria.

Of the 50,000 participating children from the Alexandria and Fairfax County Public School Systems, plus selected private schools throughout Northern Virginia, 350 works of art, inspired by the musical score based on the wildly popular Harry Potter movie, have been selected for the videography and exhibition.

The works of these budding Picassos and Renoirs will be on exhibit prior to the start of the concert for the perusal and enjoyment of patrons starting at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., Maestro Kluge will raise his baton and take his audience through the musical story of junior wizard Harry Potter, who will join conductor and orchestra onstage, courtesy of Classika Theater. At the same time, images of students' artwork will provide a Fantasia-like video enhancement to the performance as a stunning backdrop to the orchestra.

This represents the culmination of a year-and-a-half long collaboration between Kluge and Videographer Brad Avery, whose videos have enriched performances during the ASO's 2003-2004 season titled, "Where Does the Music Take You?"

FAMILIES ARE invited to come early and create their own works of art inspired by the musical score. The Art League of Alexandria, Inc. will provide workstations with recorded versions of the concert piece, at which children can create their own masterpieces. There will also be a musical "petting zoo", at which would be musicians can hold and try out a variety of instruments.

It was Music Director Kim Allen Kluge's inspiration to incorporate art into the ASO's performances. "As a young aspiring visual artist who chose the path of music, I am personally excited about this season of ASO concert/art exhibition events," Kluge said. "And I am especially keen to see how the merging of art and music will move the imaginations of our youngsters at our Childrenís Arts Festival."

The incorporation of visual arts into the concert experience is a running feature of the 2003-2004 ASO season. Kluge, an advocate of arts education, envisions the combination of the visual and musical arts as an opportunity for the public, and especially young people, to stretch their imaginations and open their minds to the possibilities the arts provide.

LOCAL ARTISTS

The following students whose art was chosen for this special ASO event, include:

Emily Griffin, Grade 5, Fort Hunt Elementary School, Mt. Vernon

Eric Dale, Grade 6, Fort Hunt Elementary School, Mt. Vernon

Taeon Faulkner, Grade 5, Jefferson-Houston, Alexandria

Ryann Brewer, Grade 5, Jefferson-Houston, Alexandria

Ally Jones, Grade 4, John Adams, Alexandria

Rohey Jah, Grade 4, John Adams, Alexandria

Hira Mohyuddin, Grade 2, Samuel Tucker, Alexandria

Deara Brown, Grade 2, Patrick Henry, Alexandria

Maxwell Bijak, Grade 4, Cora Kelly School, Alexandria

Fenella Miller, Grade 5, Douglas MacArthur, Alexandria

Karl Abrahamsen, Grade 3, Charles Barrett, Alexandria

Margaret West, Grade 4, Mt. Vernon Community School, Alexandria

Barbara Pitcher, Grade 2, Maury Elementary, Alexandria

Karl Studinger, Grade 5, James Polk, Alexandria