“Young Kira Benton put her lips to the oboe’s reed and puffed as hard as she could,” writes Will Isern in Saturday’s (1/11) Pensacola News Journal (Florida). “BUUURRRrrrr! ‘She’s a natural! That’s wonderful,’ said Pensacola Symphony oboist Asher Kelly, who instructed the 8-year-old on the woodwind instrument in an upper room of the Saenger Theatre on Saturday. Kira and her sister, Tristany, were [at the theater] Saturday afternoon as part of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra’s Music for Families event…. From the xylophone to the tuba, from the cello to the bassoon, members of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra gave crash-course introductions to one curious young face after another.” Patron services director and education coordinator Megan Burke estimated that “Saturday’s crowd, which stretched down Palafox Place and around the corner of the historic theater, numbered about 650 people.… The youngsters … could vote on their favorite class of instruments with actual ballots and polling machines provided by the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office. Last year’s winner: strings…. ‘A lot of these schools now don’t have programs where kids can try these instruments at a young age,’ Burke said. ‘They might not see them until fifth or sixth grade. This is their opportunity to do it.’ “

Posted January 13, 2014