Parents dropped off strollers and greeted familiar faces from the Charleston community as they filed in to see two of the most popular performances from Piccolo Spoleto festival at the main branch of the Charleston County Public Library in downtown Charleston.
Chamber Music Charleston performed one of their well-known Classical Kids Concerts on May 29; the College of Charleston Opera students performed “Three Little Pigs” on May 30.
Using Mozart selections to accompany a projected version of the award winning children’s book “Miss Rumphius,” bassoonist Sandra Nikolajevs, Chamber Music Charleston director and founder, and cellist Timothy O’Malley performed a playful reading of the material. Before launching into the book, Nikolajevs led the children in singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” to get them engaged. The kids kept their attention on Miss Sandra and Mr. Tim throughout the performance.
“We feed off the audience. Its just so great to see kids so enthusiastic about the music and the instruments,” Nikolaievs said.
There was not much of a warm up for the college students, as they started right into some adapted Mozart pieces, mixing “The Three Little Pigs” with a healthy dose of library-centric plotting that included a live-action Warner Brothers cartoon with a zoot-suited Wolfgang Big Bad and slapstick comedy. The show was surreal and delightful.
“The Three Little Pigs” — the most anticipated event of this block of programming at the library according to Children’s Manager Charlotte Blasier — brought in over 600 people to the library’s auditorium. There were a number of people watching the closed circuit broadcast in the playroom as well.
“We are the only branch that offers Piccolo Spoleto programming,” said Blasier. “We kind of overlap a bit, as next Tuesday will be our Summer Reading kickoff performance.”
Both performances are part of a larger run of events that continue throughout the Piccolo Spoleto festival.
The Summer Reading program began June 1 at all public library branches and will run through August 10th.
Joseph DiDomizio is a Goldring Arts Journalist from Syracuse University.