Thursday, July 30, 2015

29: Town Hall: Saturday Family Concerts - Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana

Twenty nine down. Twenty six to go.

Town Hall prides itself on incredibly diverse offerings. For this project we have already been to Town Hall twice, first in December to hear the  Early Music Guild play Christmas music, and then in February to see Sherman Alexie at the Seattle Arts and Lecture's Poetry Series. For our "official" visit dedicated to Town Hall we caught a Saturday Family Concert with our grandkids to hear the Seattle-based group Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana.

Held in Town Hall's basement, the Saturday Family Concerts are great opportunities for families to experience art and culture in an informal atmosphere. Kids are invited to sit on the floor in front of the adults, who mostly choose the chairs (at least the grandparents do!). Kids are encouraged to engage, and there are only a few rules (dancing ok; running and screaming not). At the Mariachi show the children were excited but also well behaved. The band invited the audience to sing along with a few classic favorites, but also shared the breadth and beauty of the genre with numbers featuring a variety of instrumental and vocal performance. It all made for a very relaxed and fun family atmosphere that seemed to bring out the best in the artists. They clearly enjoy the enthusiastic young audience.

Since its founding in 1999 Town Hall has hosted "an impossibly wide array of programs - music and politics and science and literature and community action and on and on...."  The programs are so numerous and varied that the Town Hall Website even features a random event generator - one click suggests a Town Hall event. This strikes me as a great way to expand one's cultural and intellectual horizons. With an audience of over 100,000, Town Hall works to keep its programs accessible to all through inexpensive rental rates and ticket prices. The Fiesta Mexicana, at a very affordable $5, was a great example.

Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana had an enthusiastic audience of young
and old alike. 

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