PACE Center event will benefit hospital

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A lively collaborative concert for children is planned at 2 p.m. April 7 at the PACE Center in Parker. The Parker Symphony Orchestra and Young Voices of Colorado will join forces to benefit the Children's Hospital in Parker.

Before the concert, starting at 1 p.m., conductors Rene Knetsch of the PSO and Jena Dickey of Young Voices will hold free 15-minute workshops for children of all ages.

The program will include “Nursery Rhyme Cantata” by Nicholas Page and “The Prayer” from “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck, performed by Young Voices, a youth choral group.

Also, the orchestra will play The “Harry Potter Symphonic Suite,” and the “Darth Vader Imperial March,” both by John Williams; “Mars” from Gustav Holst's “The Planets”; “Bowl of Notes” by Gregory Smith; and “William Tell Overture” by Giaochino Rossini.

Former Parker mayor David Casiano will make a guest appearance.

The Parker Symphony (formerly the South Suburban Symphony Orchestra) was established in 1994 and, under the direction of Rene Knetsch, had its first season as the Parker Symphony in the 2011-2012 season at the new PACE Center. The all-volunteer orchestra of about 75 performers auditions new musicians in the summer and throughout the year. Plans for the 2012-2013 season include collaboration with the Parker Chorale, a young artist piano competition and cooperation with Voice of the Wood, a cello quartet.

Director Rene Knetsch is a performing violinist, teacher and conductor who teaches and conducts the Arapahoe Community College Orchestra and plays with the Central City Opera orchestra and, with his wife, in the Confluence String Quartet. For information, see parkersymphony.org.

Young Voices was started in Littleton 23 years ago by director Jena Dickey and now works with more than 200 children from second grade through high school across the metro area. Choirs rehearse once a week and offer two major concerts. They also perform by request with instrumental and choral groups.

Enrollment begins in May for the next school year and classes will be in the Centennial area. For information: youngvoices.org.

If you go: The Parker Symphony concert will be at 2 p.m. April 7 at PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker. Tickets cost $15, PACEcenteronline.org or 303-805-6800.

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