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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Get a clue! Pacific Symphony’s 2014-15 Family Musical Mornings series kicks off with—“A Sherlock Holmes Halloween”—a spooky, mysterious musical tale about a haunted violin

Orange County, Calif. — October 07, 2014

Fewer boo!(s), more clues this Halloween! With the help of everyone’s favorite detective, Pacific Symphony invites children and families to help solve the mystery of a haunted violin during this morning of music, laughter and clue-finding fun—“A Sherlock Holmes Halloween.” This first concert of the 2014-15 Family Musical Mornings series presented by Farmers and Merchants Bank is a campy, comedic turn from the traditional Halloween fare, and is appropriate for all ages, especially those ages 5-11. While leading the orchestra in Saint-Saëns’ spooky “Danse Macabre,” Assistant Conductor Alejandro Gutiérrez hears a mysterious violin haunting the concert hall. To find out who is behind this shadow sound (played by brilliant young artist Francisco Fullana, who recently won the Johannes Brahms International Violin Competition), he asks for assistance from his “good friends,” Sherlock Holmes (played by Rich Wordes) and Watson (played by Stephanie Draude), to get to the bottom of the case.

The concert takes place on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. A Musical Carnival takes place at 9 a.m. (for the 10 a.m. concert) and 12:15 p.m. (for the 11:30 a.m. concert). Tickets are $19-39; for more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“By being exposed to classical music within a fun environment, children learn to appreciate great music because the pieces are really so beautiful and engaging,” says Maestro Gutiérrez. “At this concert, they will also learn facts about the violin; to distinguish solo performance from section performance; pizzicato (plucking the strings with one’s fingers) versus arco (playing with the bow); and to listen attentively in order to help Mr. Holmes solve the mystery. They will even learn how to hold a violin properly.”  

Written and directed by Joe Lauderdale, this show playfully combines music, mystery and education to teach kids about the different sounds and roles of the violin. Gutiérrez programmed a 45-minute concert of classical masterworks that feature the virtuosity of the violin, spotlighting the beautiful instrument’s virutosity. Selections include Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” Tchaikovsky’s Waltz from “Swan Lake,” Bruch’s Violin Concerto, Delibes’ “Pizzicato” from the ballet “Sylvia,” Mozart’s Overture to “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Everyone is invited to come dressed in their Halloween best for the Musical Carnival, where children may participate in a variety of hands-on activities, including meeting musicians (including from the Youth Ensembles), playing a violin and a performance by Northwood High School Chamber Orchestra.

“The Bruch Violin Concerto and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto belong to the elite list of the top-10 violin concertos of all time and are some of the most played concertos around the world by the most outstanding artists,” says Gutiérrez. “We are proud to offer these and other musical gems within a great Halloween and mystery-solving context. Children will discover these masterpieces and love them not only because they are played by a great young soloist with a haunted violin, but also because they will help Mr. Sherlock Holmes, his assistant Watson and myself to solve the mystery surrounding this haunted violin.”

Susan Miller Kotses, senior director of education, adds: “We are delighted to be featuring Francisco Fullana. Not only is Francisco a talented and accomplished violinist, but he also exhibits an engaging energy that is sure to be a big hit with our young audiences. We anticipate that Francisco’s performance, combined with our well-loved and incredible conductor Alejandro, our talented local artists, Rich and Stephanie, and the fabulous script and stage direction from one of our Family concert favorites, Joe Lauderdale, will result in a concert filled with inspiring and engaging moments for kids of all ages.”  

Family Musical Mornings continues with the annual “Nutcracker for Kids” featuring Festival Ballet Theatre on Dec. 13. An opera production of Rossini’s “Cinderella” takes place on Jan. 31, 2015. On March 14, 2015, “Superheroes!” features crime-fighting music from “Superman,” “Star Wars” and more. Then, the award-winning “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” concludes the season on April 18, 2015.