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Wind Philharmonic Hosts Annual Instrumental Petting Zoo

The Oklahoma City University Wind Philharmonic will host its 12th annual Children’s Concerts and Instrumental Petting Zoos for elementary school children April 30. A concert at 8 p.m. is free to the public and will be held in the Petree Recital Hall in the Bass Music Center at N.W. 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.

The Wind Philharmonic will perform for approximately 900 children from area schools in concerts that will feature OCU professors David Herendeen and Ryan Robinson as soloists on “Tubby the Tuba” by George Kleinsinger. Joshua Buxton, Joshua Floyd and Benji Stegner will serve as graduate conductors.

Following the concerts, the children will gather in the music school atrium to try out some of the instruments.

Matthew Mailman, professor of conducting and music director of the Wind Philharmonic, is organizing the event and conducting the concerts. 

“We want to inspire young musicians to begin instrumental studies by playing music for them and introducing them to instruments,” Mailman said. “The instrument petting zoos are a fun way to try out different instruments, hear what they sound like and see how trained musicians play them.”

Mailman believes the event is also a good learning experience for the Bass School college musicians.

“It's a wonderful opportunity for our students in the Wind Philharmonic to interact with potential young musicians who represent our future,” Mailman said. “Being able to give musical inspiration to them is a rare opportunity that we are able to provide for our Bass School students. The educational value of the children’s concerts is not just for the younger kids.”

There will also be a food drive in conjunction with this year’s Children’s Concerts. The attending elementary school students are encouraged to participate in the food drive as a way to teach the importance of community service. The Bass School of Music is working with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Donation receptacles will be placed in locations throughout the school beginning April 29.