Bugs Bunny at the symphony | Home Again
Prior to the Seattle Symphony Pops Concert at Benaroya Hall Sunday afternoon, I didn’t pay much attention to what music I would be hearing. I was happy simply to notice the concert date and to transfer the tickets from a drawer to my wallet.
Finally, after nearly two months of being unwell – during a season of record numbers of Snohomish county residents sidelined by illness – I welcomed the prospect of attending the concert. I would enjoy it, whatever the program turned out to be. The Seattle Symphony never disappoints me. (Neither does our local Cascade Symphony.)
My brother and I ride the bus to Seattle for the 2 p.m. Pops concerts. Public transit gets us there for $2 each, roundtrip, a sensible and environmentally friendly way to travel. I’ve said before that my brother is a wizard at bus riding; he can figure out how to get anywhere on a bus. Really. Anywhere.
Changing routes? Weekend schedules? Transfers? No problem. So all I have to do is follow him, my ORCA bus card tucked in my pocket.
Arriving at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, I noted the concert title and understood the presence of many young children. “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” featured Bugs Bunny cartoons on a theater-size screen, accompanied by the Seattle Symphony.
Visiting conductor George Daugherty has traveled worldwide and entertained millions of people with “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” performances.
Sunday’s concert suited those who grew up with the cartoons decades ago and those who were viewing them for the first time. The program guaranteed a light-hearted afternoon, certain to take adult minds off the troubles of the world – a welcome respite.
For me, a highlight of the afternoon was listening to the laughter of the children in the audience. No iPads, no computer games, nothing modern about the theme of Bugs Bunny. Just pure simple pleasure, with the sneaky benefit of introducing kids to the classical music accompanying the cartoons.
I sat next to a boy attending the concert with his dad – their presence added to my pleasure. The boy’s name was Wes. He was 7. His father interjected that the boy actually was 7 years and one day old, as he just had a birthday.
The boy corrected his dad. “I am 7 years and TWO days old,” he said, with a serious frown. The frown faded instantly when the screen lit up and the music resumed. He giggled and clapped during the cartoons.
I think most children at Sunday’s concert will remember their Seattle Symphony experience when Bugs Bunny ruled the day in Benaroya Hall. I am thankful for parents who take their children to concerts and expose them to a variety of music, encourage them to take music lessons and to become involved in performance.
It is essential that citizens continue to press government and school systems to provide strong programs in the arts, putting money into programs that will enrich students’ lives forever.
Also, as much as I appreciate team sports, I appreciate even more that involving young people in the arts is unlikely to lead to concussions.