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TFO through the eyes of elementary students

By Daryn Bauer
TFO Community Engagement Manager

As we perform our annual Youth Concerts, it’s hard to know what fourth and fifth graders really think. So we asked them.

What a response! We received about 1,500 thank you letters and drawings from the more than 27,000 elementary students and teachers who filled concert halls in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties in October. Yes, I looked at ALL of them.

This year’s concert, called One Giant Leap, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in an interactive experience, giving students the opportunity to sing and move with the orchestra. They were led by TFO Associate Conductor Daniel Black. Before the concert, teachers prepared students using lesson plans provided in a 42-page Teacher Guide produced by TFO in conjunction with teachers.

For many, it was their first full-orchestra concert. We hope you enjoy reading the reactions from the students as much as we have.

“It made me feel like I had no problems in the world.”
-5th grader at Azalea Elementary

“I like ‘I Don’t Want [to] Live on the Moon.’ I like that song because I always [wanted] to live on the moon [but] the music said ‘you’ll miss all the places and people you love.’ Now I don’t want to live on the moon.”
-5th grader at Oakhurst Elementary

“Thank you so much for a wonderful time. This was one of my favorite times of my life.”-
4th grader from Roosevelt Elementary

“One Giant Leap was the best musical performance I’ve ever been to! It was the best field trip ever!”
-5th grader at Lowry Elementary

“[My favorite piece was] I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon. Before my Great Grandma passed she sang that to me for a lullaby when I was a little girl. I loved it. Thank you for [making] me happy when my dog [died] that day.”
-5th grader at Madeira Beach Fundamental

“I experienced tears and happiness.”
-5th grader at Madeira Beach Fundamental

“I was calmed, the music had many emotions itself which gave me emotions.”
-5th grader at Mildred Helms Elementary

“Thank you for playing a great bassoon and now I just want to play the bassoon.”
-4th grader at Perkins Elementary

“I loved ‘Jupiter’ from ‘The Planets’ because it inspired me to learn about space. I felt inspired and washed away by this amazing music.”
-5th grader at Oakhurst Elementary

“It made me feel warm and [cozy]. Also I felt safe.”
-4th grader from Sanderlin IB World School

“I felt like a part of the show because I got to dance and sing with the orchestra!”
-4th grader from Carrollwood Day School

“I couldn’t help but smile when you played.”
-5th grader from Carrollwood Day School

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