Lining up kids/organization for Suzuki concert

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Jeni said: Feb 27, 2010
Jeni Cecil
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Piano, Cello, Violin
1 posts

For the past few years, my co-worker and I have had our Suzuki students perform on a school stage. Every year, we start off with a few kids playing onstage and add more and more kids as the concert progresses. By the end of the concert, all kids are onstage for the Twinkles.

We’ve always had a problem adding kids to the stage and getting them to line up in rows and know where to go. We do put tape marks down, though. The kids start off in the first/front row and then scoot back a row as more kids are added.

This year, the concert will be in a gymnasium. We are toying with the idea of having ALL kids on the gym floor already set up in their own spot. Then, each row just stands as the concert progresses. We have a large concert group (about 130 kids), though, and am wondering if the parents will be able to each see their child with a set up like this.

I need some ideas for organization and how to line up the kids, etc. Any advice?
Thanks so much!

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 27, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

Having them already set up sounds like a good idea for large groups. In theory, the more experienced students will be seen in the more advanced pieces, and then as other students stand to join them, the new kids will be seen….

There is usually a bit of shuffle time between each song in group concerts in our program, as the first set of kids, (arranged tallest to shortest in a row, with the shortest nearest to the leader), steps back. The next set of kids files onstage, (already having been arranged tallest to shortest while waiting “on deck” during the first song), and someone is on stage to help space them out. Meanwhile someone else announces the song that will be played after the next song, and asks anyone playing that song to go to the designated “on deck” area, where someone else is standing ready to arrange them quietly by height as they arrive.

But that’s not with 130 performers…

said: Feb 28, 2010
 89 posts

I’ve helped at a number of these kinds of events, and the logistics of getting everyone where they need to be can be daunting! My only concern is that the little ones will need to sit quietly on stage for quite some time as the more advanced kids play—it might be less distracting for both them and the audience if they were to sit either in “reserved” seating or with their parents. (Just make sure everyone knows how the system works and what piece they’re supposed to join in.) Really, parents seem to enjoy watching the kids walk on—it’s an opportunity for community building across different studios—and the older kids love comparing “how far back” they go year after year.

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