Halloween Fun with the Hays Symphony


On the Sunday of Halloween, the Hays Symphony helped bring some spooky spirit to the community with their annual Creepy Classics concert. 

The concert and its preceding activities took place at the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the Fort Hays campus. The pre-concert activities were packed with children of all ages, dressed for the occasion and ready to learn about music.

“We start before the music begins with a number of pre-concert activities,” Symphony Publicity Chair Cathy Drabkin said. Drabkin also plays cello for the symphony. “It allows children to get their hands on instruments, expose them to the music that they will be listening to later on in the afternoon, and help them connect music to fun and family activities.”

Pre-concert activities included Spooky Music Tours, Creepy Arts and Crafts, and the story of “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” There were also several stations where children learned more about the instruments that they were about to hear. 

Two of the stations were called Meet the Family, where musicians demonstrated how to play woodwind and brass instruments. In addition to this, the children also had the opportunity to visit the String Instrument Petting Zoo and Drumming Circle. These stations were interactive and provided the children with hands-on experience with string and percussion instruments.  

The pre-concert activities concluded with a Halloween Costume Parade around the building. 

As for why the Symphony puts on this event, Drabkin mentioned the hopes that the symphonic exposure will encourage the children in the future. 

“We think it’s really important to expose children to live symphonic music and to the idea of becoming music makers themselves one day,” she said.

Pieces for the concert included “Night on Bald Mountain,” “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” “Danse Macabre,” and “March to the Scaffold,” from Symphonie Fantastique. Several selections from Psycho and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone were also played and accompanied by a narration of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and an interpretive dance, respectively. 

This year’s Creepy Classics was important not only for all of the normal reasons, but it was also one of the first performances with the full ensemble since the spring of 2020. Drabkin cited the university’s performance guidelines for the cancelations of their shows over the last year and a half. 

The Hays Symphony will be back on stage at Beach/Schmidt for their Holiday Pops Concert. The performance is set for 7:30 p.m. on December 4th and will be another family-friendly event.

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