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A Fun Introduction to Classical Music

Featuring PYP’s Portland Youth String Ensemble

photo courtesy of PYP facebook page

The musicians of the Portland Youth String Ensemble (PYSE) and their conductor, Inés Voglar Belgique present the annual Cushion Concert - a 45-minute family-friendly interactive musical program that will have young ones ages 2-8 smiling and clapping along. Bring your cushions and join the fun at Oaks Park Dance Pavilion on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 3:00 PM.


The performance is preceded by an Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 PM, hosted by Kennedy Violins, when young ones can play child-sized instruments of the string family. This event’s generous media sponsor is the International Children’s Arts Network (ICAN Radio).


“My favorite thing about the Cushion Concert is that the kids can be free to enjoy the concert without having to be still or quiet; I love when they start to dance to the music,” said PYSE conductor Inés Voglar Belgique. “Our musicians get to play a wide variety of repertoire by American composers, including some from Portland, Oregon, like principal cellist of the Oregon Symphony Nancy Ives and Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra oboist, Alejandro Belgique. We have a lot of fun with it!”


The program includes a Q&A with the musicians and conductor, instrument demonstrations, and kid-focused music, including scores from some of our favorite movies, like John Williams’ Trilogy (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Raiders of the Lost Ark).


Bring your curious little ones early to enjoy the Instrument Petting Zoo from 2:00 – 3:00 PM. Including this hands-on activity with the concert has helped to curate a love and appreciation for the instruments of the string family in young audience members.


"Our partnership with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, especially through the 'instrument petting zoo', has been a meaningful part of Kennedy Violins' community involvement,” said Zach Sears, Kennedy Violins Shop Manager. “It's a unique opportunity to introduce young enthusiasts to string instruments, sparking early interest in music. This collaboration with PYP enriches our commitment to music education and the arts."


You’ll be amused from start to finish at this relaxed and entertaining concert. Grab your cushion, snuggle in your blanket, and prepare to be inspired by dedicated young musicians.


Tickets $7 for students, $12 for seniors, and $15 for adults. To learn more about the program, ensemble, composers, and to purchase tickets, visit; tickets may also be purchased at the venue door.



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