Nearly two decades ago, a shy, 5-year-old girl walked into the Hershey Theatre for a children's concert performed by the Hershey Symphony Orchestra. Clinging to the back of her mother's leg, she overcame her nerves and enjoyed the performance, especially "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star."
Now a senior at Franklin & Marshall College, Alexandra Moody '13 is set to attend another children's concert -- only this time, she'll be on the conductor's podium.
Moody will conduct a concert for children titled "Inspire!" at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in F&M's Barshinger Center for Musical Arts. A group of F&M students and local musicians will perform several pieces. Afterward, children from local elementary schools will join them on stage to try the instruments. Moody, first-chair violinist in the F&M Orchestra, hopes the concert inspires children the same way the Hershey Symphony Orchestra kindled her love of music many years ago.
"I remember listening to the music and not taking my eyes off the violins," Moody said of her first concert. "I was enthralled and loved the sound. I began taking lessons with a family friend soon after, and got to play with the Hershey symphony when I was about 15."
Moody organized the "Inspire!" concert with support from the College's Nolt Music Award, a grant that enables F&M students to undertake musically enriching projects. The award is made possible by a gift from Marianne and Joseph Nolt '59, an emeritus trustee of the College.
"Inspire!" will include "Rays of the Spirit" by Rossano Galante; selections from "Carmen" by Georges Bizet; "Spring" by Antonio Vivaldi; and "Hobbit," a selection from the "Lord of the Rings" symphony by Johan de Meij.
"This concert will be short, tailored to fit a child's attention span," said Moody, president of F&M's Music Honor Society. "We'll perform pieces that excite kids and help them create pictures in their minds. We want to inspire children to learn different qualities of music. If you make it personal and individualized, you can reach them more easily. Music can be inspiring for everyone."
Moody, who is also a member of F&M's string quartet Fellowship of the Strings, is a biology major and music minor. She plans to attend medical school after graduating from F&M next year.
"I've always wanted to be a doctor," Moody said. "My mom is a veterinarian and my dad is a physician. They inspired me." Moody said she chose F&M because the College has a strong reputation for helping students gain acceptance to medical school and preparing students for the rigor of postgraduate study.
But music is Moody's first love, one that she hopes to introduce to children Nov. 17.
"When I practice music, I find a lot of stress relief," Moody said. "You relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the melodies."