Attorney Cameron A. Grant will narrate two favorites
By Peter Alexander Jan. 17 at 3:05 p.m.
Attorney Cameron A. Grant will join the Longmont Symphony (LSO) as narrator for their annual Family Concert. The concert, conducted by Elliot Moore, will be at 4 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 21) in the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium.
The program features two works that have been favorites in past family concert performances: Selections from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and Lucas Richman’s Behold the Bold Umbrellephant. Both works use texts by the popular children’s author Jack Prelutsky, the first-ever U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate who personally read his poems when the LSO performed both works in 2018.
Prelutsky’s book Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant is a set of poems about fanciful creatures that are part animals and part inanimate objects, such as the umbrellaphant, the panthermometer and the clocktopus. Richman’s music takes eager advantage of all the musical hints in the poems. Every piece has its own character, across a wide variety of styles and musical types. The Umbrellaphant features horn calls that recall elephants’ trumpeting, while the Panthermometer is a cool cat who can tell you the temperature.
With it’s musical portraits of lions, donkeys, fossils and swans, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals is widely performed today, but it was unknown during the composer’s lifetime. Saint-Saëns had prohibited public performances, thinking that such frivolous music would damage his reputation. It was not published until 1922, the year after the composer’s death, and it has been one of his best known and most popular works since.
The American humorous poet Ogden Nash had written a set of poems to accompany The Carnival of the Animals in the 1940s, but Prelutsky’s publisher, considering Nash’s poems to be outdated, wanted new texts. He called Prelutsky and asked him to write poems to go along with Saint-Saëns’ music. Originally reluctant, Prelutsky quickly turned out a new set of poems.
Grant is a prominent attorney in Longmont, where he is a managing shareholder in the firm Lyons & Gaddis, but he is also familiar with the performing world. He holds an undergraduate degree in English and vocal music performance from Colorado College, and attended the Aspen Opera Theater Center. He has been an active member of the local community, including a spell as president of the Longmont Council for the Arts.
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Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Elliot Moore, conductor
With Cameron A. Grant, narrator
- Saint-Saéns: Selections from Carnival of the Animals
- Lucas Richman: Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant
4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21
Vance Brand Civic auditorium