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Each year, LCSO presents a day of three back-to-back Children’s Educational Concerts each year for 6000+ students from La Porte Community Schools and surrounding area school corporations, senior living centers, and agencies working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. The excellence of LCSO’s educational outreach is significant for the area and the Children’s Education Concert has been recognized as one of the most successful children’s concerts in the nation by the American String Teacher’s Association and the National School Orchestra Association.

LCSO is proud to bring back 2017/18 Season Finale, Hollywood to Broadway’s Guest Conductor, Rick DeJonge, to both create and conduct our Education Concert this year!

Rick DeJonge is a graduate of the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program from USC and holds a Master’s of Art and Bachelor’s of Music from Western Michigan University. Rick started his music career in the teaching field having taught general music at Lincoln Elementary School, Indian Trail Elementary and New Buffalo Elementary School. As a film composer, Mr. DeJonge has worked on several films and with great composers such as Christopher Young, David Spear, Jack Smalley, and Pete Anthony. As an orchestrator, Rick worked with composers on television promos including shows like “Beautiful People”, “Lost”, “The West Wing” and “CSI Miami”.  As a conductor, Rick has conducted his own scores at Paramount Studios, Fox Studios, and Firehouse Studios in Pasadena, California. DeJonge’s score for the action film “Fighting With Anger” contained a song by the composer which won Best Original Song at the New York Independent Film Festival and was recorded by Willie Nelson. As a composer and conductor for film music, Rick was featured in an article of scoring for films in Life Magazine and just recently scored 3 cues for a new cartoon ad for Fiat. Rick has been writing music for orchestra and wind ensemble for over 25 years. You can hear his symphonic works on Summit Records. Rick has been the official arranger/composer for Walt Disney World’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2011.  Rick is a member of ASCAP along with his music publishing company, Dream Notes Music.

Listen to the backing scratch recordings for this years concert:

Students will love interacting using movement and rhythm! Meet Our Tap Dancer:

Jennifer Carlson has been dancing since the age of two, training under “Books to the Beat” author and creator Chris Rodda. At the age of nine, she began studying tap at Dancentre 2 studio in Elkhart, IN. She excelled in all styles and was soon given the opportunity to student teach. Thus began her career of teaching dance that has spanned over 20 years, three states, and numerous studios. She is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University’s School of American Dance and Arts Management. Jennifer’s greatest achievement has been seeing her students discover the joy that is dance. 


A Note from the Composer


This concert takes the approach on two musical concepts: Music is used to create emotion and this emotion is used in several types of areas.

The concert starts with a simple demonstration of the different parts of the orchestra highlighting the woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion. The first full orchestra piece will demonstrate how movies use music to create the necessary emotion to match what is happening on the screen.   There will be 4 short themes played from movies for the students to guess what movie the music is from and it will be described how each theme makes you feel.  A clip from a movie will then be shown in silent as specific scenes are discussed about the emotions of the film and then the same clip will be shown again with the full orchestra playing.  Students will be able to understand in a more complex way just how music and specific tempos and instruments bring out specific feelings.

Dancing uses music to create the emotion of how a dance is choreographed.  The next piece uses tap dancing accompanied by the orchestra. The music is heard in different styles such as swing and tango and the tap dancer allows the feeling of this music to determine how the tap should be presented.  It will also be described to the students that the tap dancer is acting as a percussionist and that her parts are part of the actual performance; but rather than a drummer playing this on a drum, the dancer performs the part with her feet.  The students will also have a chance to do specific rhythms by slapping their knees as they try to copy certain rhythms the tap dancer demonstrates. This particular piece will add saxophone for the swing section and students will learn that woodwind players in orchestras play more than just one instrument and are known as “doublers”

Before movies had sound, music was used on Broadway to bring out the emotions of the play.  In fact, many of the Broadway composers moved to Los Angeles once movies had sound to do the same thing they were doing for the plays: add musical scores to help create specific emotions.  To highlight this example the orchestra, along with 5 singers, will present music from “The Wizard of Oz” which was both a movie and a Broadway show.  The piece starts with a movie clip showing the opening and the tornado scene to again capture just how the feeling of the music adds to the emotion of the picture.  Then the singers take over presenting the songs from the musical.

The last piece features two scores from video games.  Many of today’s scores for video games are developed just like movie scores using full orchestras to create specific emotions to match what is happening on the screen.  With the evolution of much more memory in gaming equipment, the ability to have hours of recorded high definition music is limitless. This will be demonstrated to the students by first showing an example of how music was used in video games in the 1980’s that had very little memory to the full orchestra playing themes from “Halo” and “Kingdom Hearts”.  The “Kingdom Hearts” portion will also have a movie clip shown while the orchestra is playing to once again demonstrate how music captures the feelings of what is happening on the screen.

It is my hope that students will have a better understanding that music is more than just a song on the radio and that it is used to make the listener feel different emotions for specific reasons.  They will have seen this through examples of movies, dancing, songs, and video games by the end of the concert. 


Rick DeJonge


Special thanks to our sponsors who support the arts and believe in the power of music to impact the youth in our community!

Dennis & Leslie Lantz

Dr. Linda Sirugo & Attorney David Sirugo

Councilman Timothy Stabosz