A princess, a frog and a room full of kids

2014-01-02T00:00:00Z A princess, a frog and a room full of kidsBy Cathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

High, low, how far can they go?

Try soft, fast, slow, loud and a few stops in between when the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Piano Trio performs “Princess and the Frog” with the orchestra’s Just for Kids series on Saturday

“Princess and the Frog” was written by trio member Michael Fan, who plays violin in the trio alongside cellist Anne Gratz and his sister and pianist Paula Fan. The piece tells the tale of opposites — a beautiful princess and a not-so-attractive frog — who find common ground somewhere along the musical lines of high and low, loud and soft, and fast and slow.

Michael Fan, who has been with the orchestra since 1978, composes most of the Just for Kids series programs. They are short fairy tales of sorts that bring music to life in a way that tickles the imaginations of kids as young as toddlers. And they are performed at the Tucson Symphony Center, where kids are encouraged  to explore the music in a way that makes them feel a part of the performance.

Performances will be at 10 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday at the symphony center, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., off East Grant Road.  Admission is a suggested $3-per-person donation at the door.

The TSO Percussion Ensemble, meanwhile, will introduce youngsters to the “drum-tastical world” of Gerald McBoing-Boing at 10 a.m. Saturday at Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive.

Based on a story by Dr. Seuss and a 1950 film adaptation, Gerald McBoing-Boing is a little boy who speaks through sound effects. He toots, honks and blasts his way through conversations with friends, his parents, at school and, finally, over the radio.

Admission to the  show, co-sponsored by the Town of Oro Valley and the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, is free.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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