By Shelley Koppel
MELBOURNE - When the Melbourne Municipal Band debuts its 47th season, the focus will be on children and family.
The free concerts, on Sept. 26 and 27 and a shorter version on Sept. 30, will feature music designed to be enjoyed by families.
The events will also serve as collection points for donations to The Children's Hunger Project, which provides needy area elementary school-aged children, with free weekend food backpacks.
The concerts will also celebrate music education.
Pre-concert entertainment on Sept. 26-27 will be provided by students who participated in the Melbourne Municipal Band/4 The Kids of Brevard Summer Music Program.
The program highlights classic works beloved by generations of children, as well as newer pieces. Among the works featured are Prokofiev's classic "Peter and the Wolf," with narration; "Children's Corner Suite," by Debussy; selections from "Carnival of the Animals;" "Ringling Brothers Grand Entry March;" "How to Train Your Dragon;" "Harry's Wondrous World;" and a medley of Disney movie tunes, sung by local students Ariel and Eliana Berrean.
Parents and teachers who want to prepare youngsters for the concert can download a concert guide at the band's website, www.melbournemunicipalband.org.
While the Sept. 26-27 concerts will take place at the Melbourne Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., the shorter Sept. 30 concert will take place at 3 p.m. at the Scott Center Auditorium of Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy. That event will feature a special treat for the kids. Tables will be set up with instruments from the band. Members who are teachers and performers will allow kids to touch, feel and try out the instruments, up close and personal.
Staci Cleveland, conductor of the Melbourne Municipal Band, hopes that generations of families will come to the concerts.
"This is a great concert for families to attend together," she said. "Bring your kids and grandkids of all ages, and come enjoy your first or your 101st concert. It's going to be a lot of fun, and we are so pleased to be able to help The Children's Hunger Project to raise awareness of the plight of so many hungry children in Brevard County."
The Melbourne Municipal Band presents a free concert of music for the family on Sept 26-27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne.
A shorter version of the concert will take place on Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. at the Scott Center Auditorium of Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, 5625 Holy Trinity Drive, Melbourne.
While all of the concerts are free, attendees are encouraged to bring food donations for The Children's Hunger Project. A complete list of items needed can be found at the Melbourne Municipal Band's website, www.melbournemunicipalband. org.
For more information, call (321) 724-0555.