Free concerts for youth come to an end at Pequot Library
FAIRFIELD — After several decades, a free concert series for young people will come to an end Saturday, with a performance by Russian piano duo Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov at 2 p.m. at the Pequot Library.
“We have provided the Free Young Persons’ Concerts for 23 years,” Misty Beyer, executive program director for Music for Youth, said. “Over the past eight years, our audience has changed and we are finding that families are torn in so many directions — the weekends are packed with sports, other activities.”
The interest in listening to live music is going through changes, Beyer said.
“We love the concept of the musical journey one takes watching the unique concert series,” she said, adding her own life has been enriched by the sharing of artists that have dedicated so much of their lives to their art. “I’m just not sure the ‘millennials’ see the value in the concert series.”
Instead, Music for Youth will put its support behind a new program called “Meet the Orchestra,” a series that will start this April, according to Beyer.
“We are also very focused on giving emerging artists performance opportunities,” she said, offering youth many different opportunities to perform and engage. “Education has always been a huge focus of Music for Youth, and we are still very active in the Bridgeport schools, bringing in musicians to coach and mentor, and developing the literacy-music link through after-school programs.”
Among the other programs offered by Music for Youth, an organization run largely by volunteers, is the Friday Night Young Artist Cafe, held at the Pequot Library. Participation is open to instrumentalists, poets, songwriters and actors, and the evening is moderated by high school seniors who are taking part in Music for Youth’s internship program.