'Not now, Bernard' - Children's concert to open Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra's new season

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra - Credit: Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

A special children's concert will open Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra’s new season.

The community orchestra's first concert of the 2021/2022 season will take place on Saturday, October 2 at 3pm in St Mary’s Church, Church Path, Saffron Walden.

The programme includes music composed by Bernard Hughes to accompany the stories of the popular books 'Not Now Bernard' and 'Isabel’s Noisy Tummy', both written and illustrated by David McKee.

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra - Credit: Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

Not Now, Bernard carries different messages at the same time. 

For children, it is a story about a boy being eaten by a monster, while for adults it is a cautionary tale about being too busy to engage with our children.  

After a jolly overture for the orchestra alone we are introduced to Bernard. He's just an ordinary boy but Bernard’s parents are usually too busy to pay much attention to him.

“Not now, Bernard”, were the words most often said to him.

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But Bernard knew there was a monster in the garden and he was afraid that it would eat him.

The music helps the story unfold as Bernard’s parents continue not to notice what is happening.

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra presents Not Now, Bernard and Isabel's Noisy Tummy

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra's Children's Concert on Saturday, October 2 features Not Now, Bernard and Isabel's Noisy Tummy - Credit: Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

Isabel’s Noisy Tummy is all about a tummy that rumbles, resulting in much amusement for Isabel’s classmates.

One day, Isabel’s class goes to the zoo, and Isabel’s tummy saves the day. You’ll have to wait to find out how.

Bernard Hughes’ music is colourful, jolly and exciting, with lots of fascinating sounds, especially from the percussion section, which includes interesting instruments such as a Swanee Whistle, a whip, a hammer and nail and a vibraslap.

The SWSO concert will also include two other pieces. The first is Edward Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King.

This is the story of Peer Gynt, a boy who falls in love with a girl, but they are forbidden to marry.

The other piece is The Gnome from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

In this short piece you can hear the gnome jumping out from behind bushes, crawling through hedges and being generally a scary little fellow.

Tickets for the concert cost £12 adults and £5 under-18s and over 65s.

They are available from www.saffronsymphony.org/forthcoming-events/ or can be bought from Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre, at 1 Market Street.

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