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Life-long learning through orchestra and ballet

Appleton and Shawano school district students in grades 1 through 3 were treated to the Makaroff Youth Ballet’s performance of“Peter and The Wolf” at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Wednesday.


Not many 6-year-olds can say they’ve watched a ballet or listened to a symphony orchestra perform, but Wednesday youngsters in our area did both. Makaroff Youth Ballet partnered with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra helping students explore how music conveys story and emotion while watching characters come to life through ballet during Peter & The Wolf. The program is part of the Amcor Education Series in collaboration with the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Appleton Area School District.

“We would not have been able to undertake such a large project without the support of the Community Foundation, which enabled us to collaborate with the Appleton Area School District and Fox Valley Symphony to launch an integrated live performance of Peter and the Wolf,” says Makaroff Executive Director Katy Hopp. “Pairing the sounds and instruments from the orchestra with movement of ballet really works for that young audience.”

Check out: Birds of a feather: Costume helps Makaroff Youth Ballet soar

Wolf mask from the Makaroff Youth Ballet

The program received grants from the Bright Idea Fund and Mielke Family Foundation, both within the Community Foundation. The Bright Idea Fund committee awarded a grant of $24,000 for the collaboration, which inspired a co-funding opportunity from the Mielke Family Foundation.

“It is very fulfilling to see our work in action,” says Peter Mariahazy, chair of the Bright Idea Fund grant committee. “It is a wonderful experience both theatrically and to see the audience reaction.”

Along with the 25-minute performance, students also saw other performances including the snow scene from “The Nutcracker.”


Want to help bright ideas burn even brighter? Learn how to get involved as a donor, or learn how to apply for a Bright Idea grant as a nonprofit organization.   Check out our current Bright Idea Fund results from 2019 – 2020!

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