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Hays Symphony joins HAC, Community Theater in Halloween concert
Fort Hays State University logo

The Hays Symphony will present the free Halloween Spooktacular Family Concert featuring the children’s classic “Peter and the Wolf” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30, in Fort Hays State University’s Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
Joining the symphony on stage will be Brenda Meder, director of the Hays Arts Council, as the narrator. Costumed young actors from the Hays Community Theater, under the direction of Raymond Brent, will dramatize the story. A series of pre-concert activities for kids will also be offered, starting at 1 p.m.
Free tickets are available at the door or may be reserved in advance by contacting the symphony at
“We are so pleased to be working with the Arts Council and the Hays Community Theater for a fully interactive performance,” said Cathy Drabkin, Hays Symphony’s publicity committee chair. “Music, story and drama are all brought together in an event that’s fun and educational.”
Both the music and story of Peter and the Wolf were composed by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev in 1936. The folk tale describes the adventure of Peter and his animal friends who, against Grandfather’s orders, venture into the meadow and capture The Wolf. In the music, each character is represented by a particular instrument. The work is Prokofiev’s most famous, and serves as a great children’s introduction to music and the instruments of the orchestra.
“I really enjoy working with young actors,” said Brent. “They bring to the table new ideas, they see things in a new light, a different perspective, that they’re not even aware they have.”
Brent said the challenge of acting without dialog is to relate the story through actions alone. “To paraphrase John Wayne,” he said, “it’s not the dialogue or the action that’s important, but the re-action to what another character is doing. How do I respond to what has just happened?”
Character actors from the Hays Community Theater will be Conner Hilger as Peter, Brent as Grandfather, Addy Brull as The Bird, Jessica Leiker as The Duck, Madelyn Seiler as The Cat, Skyler Pricket as The Wolf, and Jerrett Leiker and Everett Robert as The Hunters.
“The symphony has also organized a variety of pre-concert family activities for kids that focus on music, art, literature, and fun,” said Drabkin. Activities offered will include an instrument petting zoo where children can experiment with real instruments, a wolf-puppet craft project, a Russian folktale story time, a drumming circle and photo opportunities with The Wolf and friends.
Activities will be run by FHSU student members of the National Association for Music Educators and the Sigma Alpha Iota sorority.
The final activity leading into the concert will be a Halloween Costume parade. Hays Symphony members will perform in their own costumes, and children are encouraged to come to the concert in theirs. The first 150 children arriving in costumes will receive trick-or-treat bags.
This is the symphony’s third concert of the 2016-2017 Russian Masterworks season. They will be under the baton of guest conductor Boris Vayner, a doctoral orchestral conducting student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Vayner, a violist, has extensive experience performing chamber music and was founder and director of Supima Chamber Orchestra at Wichita State University.
For additional information about the concert, contact the Hays Symphony at, or the FHSU Department of Music and Theatre at 785-628-5838.