As she peeks her head into the performance hall from backstage to watch a throng of octogenarians shuffle slowly to their seats, 10-year-old Alana Kyser cannot help but begin her performance a few minutes early.
“Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic!” the Dufrocq fourth-grader sings, bobbing so the maroon beads and small white plastic bows in her dark braids shake.
“That song is so old!” Daylon Daniel, a fourth-grader at LSU Lab, says, ribbing his friend behind a wide smile.
“I know,” Kyser says. “But I like it.”
It’s late afternoon on a frigid December Saturday for the Kids’ Orchestra’s First Annual Winter Concert, the culmination of the innovative new after-school program’s first semester of combining elementary students from several area schools into a single musical entity featuring recorders, violins and percussion.
Today’s audience is a hundred or more residents of St. James Place retirement community. Mixed in among the elderly and lining the walls for this standing-room-only performance are supportive parents armed with cell phones and video cameras aimed silently at two rows of bright orange and mint green paint buckets overturned and waiting for small swift hands to tap them to life.