A Musical Story Time: Babar the Elephant to The Pirate Musician

February 5, 2014

Jacobsen Jr. children’s concert, 3 p.m., Saturday, March 1

TACOMA, Wash. – Pirates, teddy bears, and elephants, oh my! The ninth annual Jacobsen Jr. children’s concert will feature them all.

The much-anticipated performance also will include the world premiere of The Pirate Musician, with a story written by Judy Carlson Hulbert and music by Puget Sound Professor of Music Duane Hulbert. The concert will run from 3 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 1, in Schneebeck Concert Hall at University of Puget Sound. For advance ticket purchase, see below. The afternoon is recommended for ages 5 and up, but everyone is welcome!

This year the concert’s theme is Story Time at the Concert Hall: Musical Tales. The popular piece Babar the Elephant, with music by French classical composer Francis Poulenc, tells the story of the famous elephant, who was chased out of the jungle by a hunter, only to discover the wonders of travel and civilization. Duane Hulbert will play the piano, with Puget Sound junior and music major Bronwyn Hagerty ’14 as narrator.  

The irresistible classic, The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, will show off wind players from the Puget Sound community in a rousing band arrangement conducted by Stephen Abeshima ’15, a Puget Sound sophomore majoring in music education. 

Two original compositions with stories also will be featured. Chris Burns, principal bassist with Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, will premiere The Pirate Musician, a humorous story of a classical bass player on board a pirate ship. The music was composed by Hulbert during his recent sabbatical, and the story written by his wife, Judy Carlson Hulbert.

The Pied Piper of Jazz sets the legendary Pied Piper of Hamelin folk tale—originally based in Germany during the Middle Ages—in Greenwich Village, N.Y., in 1946, following the end of World War II. The work features guest artist and jazz trumpet player Neil Hulbert improvising to a second story written by his mother, Judy Carlson Hulbert.

Rounding out the program will be a student string ensemble playing Amilcare Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours (recognizable as the 1963 tune sung by Allan Sherman in “Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder”) and Jacques Offenbach’s lively Can-Can.

Grammy-nominated pianist Duane Hulbert, chair of piano at University of Puget Sound’s School of Music, has organized the hourlong concert and will also moderate.

“This program is one of the highlights of my year at Puget Sound,” Hulbert said. “I love to see so many eager young faces in the audience and the joy that music can bring to them. I’d like to think this is the concert where a little girI or boy says, ‘That’s the day I decided to play the trumpet or the violin!’  

“The future of classical music lies with the next generation,” he added. “We have to cultivate the love of music. Now is the time for kids to experience the joy and the richness music can bring to their lives. So many studies out there say how beneficial the study of music is to young brains.”

The afternoon will include performances by School of Music students Clara Fuhrman ’16, violin; Brandi Main ’16, violin; Forrest Walker ’17, viola; Bronwyn Hagerty ’15, cello; and Stephen Abeshima ’16, conductor. Additionally there will be guest artist Neil Hulbert, trumpet; guest artist Chris Burns, double bass; and faculty member Duane Hulbert, piano.

The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.

FOR TICKETS: For advance purchases order online at tickets.pugetsound.edu or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 5–18. Children age 4 and under get in free. For a family of four or more, group tickets are $25. Puget Sound students with identification get in free. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For directions and a map of the campus:pugetsound.edu/directions
For accessibility information please contact accessibility@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3236, or visit pugetsound.edu/accessibility.

Press photos of the “Pirate Musician” (Chris Burns from Tacoma Symphony Orchestra) can be downloaded from: pugetsound.edu/pressphotos
Photos on page: Top right: Chris Burns as the Pirate Musician, by Ross Mulhausen; Top left: Marriage and coronation of King Babar and Queen Celeste, by Jean de Brunhoff (1931); Above right: The oldest picture of the Pied Piper copied from the glass window of the Market Church in Hamelin Germany (c.1300-1633); Above left: Duane Hulbert.

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