BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — One minute the students were imitating the movements of ducks, and the next they were pretending to be a grandfathers and then finally, wolves.
The Washington Elementary students weren’t just listening to the story of Peter and the Wolf, they were part of it.
Jay Perry, an actor, and Kay Billings, a pianist, drew the students into the story told through the music of Sergei Prokofiev.
Perry and Billings traveled to 17 Davis County elementary schools over the course of two weeks, sharing the music of Aaron Copland and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well.
As they traveled between schools, from Syracuse to Bountiful in one day, from Clearfield to North Salt Lake in another, they were accompanied by a seven-foot Steinway & Sons grand piano courtesy of movers from Daynes Music.
“For a lot of kids, this is their first classical piano concert, their first musical experience,” said Billings, who took on all the roles in the story, which are usually handled by a full orchestra. “We want kids to have a great arts experience.”
As an actor, Perry said he is always teaching. In this case, he said he feels honored to share a story he grew up with.
“It’s one of the first stories I really remember growing up,” said Perry. “I absolutely love the story and I love sharing it with the next generation. I love their reactions.”
The production was sponsored by the Davis Arts Council. Billings is chairman of the board of trustees for the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation and Perry represented Plan B Theatre.