Russian Badgers

I’m pleased that the Lenape Chamber Ensemble again requested a fun drawing from me, for their Children’s Concert next spring. This concert will include music by Mozart, Widor and Prokofiev, played by world-class musicians who also teach the young audience about musical themes and the composers. I read a bit about Prokofiev’s life and thought the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow would provide some architectural interest in the background, since my last illustration for a concert was set in Venice for Vivaldi.

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I also discovered that Prokofiev was a noted chess player! I decided on badgers for this drawing’s main characters, and so drew a couple playing chess while others serenade them with flute, violin, viola, cello and piano, which are all featured in this concert.

Here is the sketch partially inked in – unfortunately had to change the pelican at right to a small bird, to fit in the word bubble.

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And the final all inked in – below. Should be a delightful March concert!

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Venetian Bunnies

The Lenape Chamber Ensemble will again present a delightful concert for children in November, and I was asked to draw up a fun flyer advertising it.  The concert features world-class musicians who talk to the children about patterns and themes in the music, bits about the lives of the composers, and their specific instruments; and then they play snippets of the featured compositions (they play the full versions of these pieces for two adult concerts around the same weekend). Sometimes the musicians invite the children to get up and dance in whatever way the music makes them feel. I love going to these concerts to see the little preschoolers and elementary school children’s reactions to these glorious pieces of music!

This Children’s Concert will feature works by Leclair, Telemann, Couperin, and Vivaldi; I researched the pieces to be played and the composers, and found that Vivaldi (nicknamed the ‘red priest’ because he was indeed a cleric who inherited his family trait of red hair) was born in Venice. I’ve also been listening lately to Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta The Gondoliers, which takes places in Venice, so I decided to use that picturesque city as the backdrop for my illustration for this poster.

I researched pictures of gondolas and some landmarks in Venice, like the Rialto Bridge and the domed basilicas, and roughed out a pencil sketch of a little clutch of musical rabbits floating along in a canal –

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The layout of my flyers for the Lenape Children’s Concerts is always similar, as you can see from this one and this one – they like me to hand-letter the text, so I plan the drawing around where the words will fall. I traced this pencil sketch onto bond paper using my lightbox, and inked in all the details using Faber-Castell Pitt pens.

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I highly recommend the Lenape Chamber Ensemble concerts – both the children’s and the adult ones – the lovely auditorium at Delaware Valley University is just the perfect intimate size to enjoy these wonderful artists playing gorgeous music.

Alpacas, Coatis and Mozart

1lenapechens_spring2017_1Twice a year the Lenape Chamber Ensemble creates a delightful concert for children age 4-12 at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, featuring world-class musicians performing short sections of the classical masterpieces that they play in their adult concerts.  The musicians explain their instruments and themes in the music in simple terms for the children in a casual, interactive concert. At the end the kids are invited to dance to the music – so fun to watch! I am asked to create a fun poster for each concert and over the years, I always love drawing animals performing the classical music and sometimes dancing to it. I try to tie the animal scene to a theme in the music program, but there was no unifying theme this time so I just chose some South American animals – alpacas and coatis – because they are animals I have not drawn before. I think the graceful Mozart piece in this concert – Piano Trio in C Major – would prompt even coatis up in the Andes Mountains to dance a minuet!

Featured in the coming spring concert on March 4 are also works by Prokofiev and Brahms for flute, violins, viola, cello, and piano. The concert is in Delaware Valley University’s beautiful new Life Sciences Auditorium, simple refreshments are provided and children can meet the musicians and see their instruments up close afterwards.  Admission for children is only $2, adults are free.  info (610) 294-9362.  The Lenape Chamber Ensemble is a non-profit organization supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Below is a photo I snapped at one concert, with a garland of tots danced round and round the stage.

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Illustration for a Fall Children’s Concert

lenapechamberensfall16detailtwOnce again the Lenape Chamber Ensemble has asked me to create a fun illustration to advertise their semi annual concert for children. This ensemble has been performing outstanding classical chamber music since 1975, and its musicians are among the best that the New York/ Philadelphia area have to offer, and have come from as far away as California and Europe. My friend Mary Eleanor Pitcairn has supported and produced these concerts since their inception, and she and her daughter Elizabeth Pitcairn are remarkable musicians themselves, as well as devoted patrons of musical art.

The program for this concert includes Handel’s Water Music, which he wrote in response to King George I of England’s request for a concert on the River Thames. It features movements related to dances of the era, such as minuets, bourrees and hornpipes. You’ll recognize the hornpipe if you listen to it here. I thought about the hornpipe that is a traditional sailors’ dance, and chose to draw cats for my illustration of sailors performing the music, while two break out into a hornpipe on the deck.

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I heartily recommend taking your children or grandchildren to these Lenape concerts, they are formatted especially for young children – the musicians talk about the music and composers in simple terms, demonstrate their instruments, play short snippets of the elegant music and explain how the instruments speak to each other, and take questions from the children. It often ends with all the children dancing to the final musical piece, and it’s a delightful experience for everyone!

 

Lenape Chamber Ensemble Concert for Children

lenapechensspring14flyerTwice a year the Lenape Chamber Ensemble creates this delightful concert for children age 4-12 at Delaware Valley College, featuring world-class musicians performing short sections of the classical masterpieces that they play in their adult concerts.  The musicians explain their instruments and themes in the music in simple terms for the children in a casual,  interactive concert. At the end the kids are invited to dance to the music – so fun to watch!  Featured in this April 12 concert are works by Mozart, Schedel and Elgar for violin, viola, cello, flute and piano.  Simple refreshments are provided and children can meet the musicians and see their instruments up close afterwards.  Children $2, adults free.  info (610) 294-9362.  The Lenape Chamber Ensemble is a non-profit organization supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

My illustrated flyer for the concert is above, below is a photo I snapped at one concert, while a garland of tots danced round and round the stage to a minuet:

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