Prokofiev’s beloved ‘Peter and the Wolf’ caps tonight’s Amp showcase of School of Music talent



The age-old story of Peter and the wolf  is being told on the Amphitheater stage tonight — reportedly for the first time.

At 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Amp, the Music School Festival Orchestra will expose families to the wonders of music in a family-friendly and exciting way, said Oliver Dow, managing director of the School of Music.

“There’s formal opera, formal symphony — I thought maybe we should take some of the elements and stitch them together to make a different-paced event that shows off the students and makes it very engaging for families at the same time,” Dow said. “To anybody’s living knowledge, Peter and the Wolf hasn’t been performed in the Amp.”

Dow will be “attempting” to emcee the event, which features different sections of the orchestra as well as a performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. The birds are represented by the flute, the duck by the oboe, the cat by the clarinet, the grandfather by the bassoon, the wolf by the horns and Peter, who is played by the string section. Voice student Philip Stoddard will narrate Peter and the Wolf.

Claire Nalven, a clarinetist in the production, said Peter and the Wolf is a fun change of pace for her and for the orchestra.

“We were really lucky to be assigned to these parts. We’re loving it — it’s a great story,” Nalven said.

Erin Graham, a percussionist in the MSFO, said Peter and the Wolf keeps her section on their toes — they don’t spend much time counting rests in this piece.

“It’s really fun,” Graham said. “It’s a lot more involved, parts-wise, than with the orchestra. You have to stay focused for a lot longer. It’s more of functioning in a group. I love it.”

Nick Buonanni, a flutist in the MSFO, said Peter and the Wolf presents a unique challenge for each section.

“There’s only one of us in each part of the woodwind section,” he said. “Instead of having three flutes or three oboes, there’s only one person playing each part and so everything that you play is a solo.”

For the School of Music, Dow said this is a celebration of what the students have accomplished and an invitation for those who might not attend a typical orchestra performance.

“This was a good opportunity to display a different side of the Music School Festival Orchestra and the Voice Program,” Dow said. “It’s an opportunity to present Peter and the Wolf, and I think many adults will have some nostalgia with that.”