Symphony Partners invite all to ‘Meet the Musicians’

When violinist-to-be Lenelle Morse went to her friend’s house in third grade, she was not jealous of her Barbies or swing set — she wanted to play her friend’s violin. But, considering how Morse had season tickets to the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, her interests were already distinct from the typical third grader.

“My parents had done a very good indoctrination. I had been going to orchestras previously, and I wanted to be able to recreate that music I had heard — make it my own,” she said.

Morse, along with oboist Jason Weintraub and tubist Fred Boyd, will lead the second of three “Meet the Musicians” Brown Bags at 12:30 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall. Sponsored by the Symphony Partners, the event is meant to introduce community members to the mechanics of and distinctions between various instruments. The event is open to people of all ages, but Morse said this one is particularly geared toward a younger audience.

“One of my missions as a teacher, as a performer, is to open up people to the love of music,” she said. “Kids need some kind of an introduction to that.”

To that end, Morse and her colleagues from the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will demonstrate how their respective instrument works, what each sounds like and answer any questions the audience may have. But, with the kids in mind, the trio intends to keep the Brown Bag from turning into a lecture or recital. Things will be brief, informal and accessible, according to Morse.

“I do some pretty mean racecar and animal noises [on my violin], so that’s going to be my main contribution aside from just showing how it works,” she said.

Morse said the idea is to persuade kids that classical music is fun to play, listen to and live — something she and her colleagues experience every day of their job. Like learning an instrument, she said that appreciation is best fostered at a young age.

“This is also a reminder that the CSO is for everybody, including the children,” Morse said.

In contrast with the regimented behavior expected inside the concert hall, kids are encouraged to bring their lunch, talk and roll around as they please throughout the event.

Still, as much as Morse wants the event to appeal to as many people as possible, she joked there will be some boundaries on what the kids will be allowed to do.

“They won’t get to try our instruments out — those cost too much,” she said.