Four times a year, children and their families are invited to attend Lollipop Concerts. The free concerts are organized by Kathleen Sihler, the Education and Operations Director with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
"I'm called Lollipop Lady. My role on a large scale is to hire musicians, coordinate dates and set the series out," said Kathleen Sihler.
Besides working at the Education and Operations Director, Sihler is also the principle viola player in the orchestra. She started playing the viola in grade school.
"My mother had the wisdom to say your older sister is doing this, do you want to," said Kathleen Sihler.
She hopes the Lollipop Concerts inspire a love of music in other children.
February's Lollipop Concert featured a woodwind quintet, including the WCF Symphony Artistic Director Jason Weinberger playing the clarinet.
Weinberger said Kathleen Sihler plays a critical role in youth music programs in the Cedar Valley.
"I for one consider myself extremely grateful to work with someone who cares as much about this as Kathleen does. I can tell you without reservation, there's no way this would happen without Kathleen's efforts," said Jason Weinberger.
The music at the Lollipop Concerts is short and quick to keep the attention of the children. While it's aimed at kids, hopefully the music reaches the parents, too.
"Mostly we want to promote music of all kinds, but let people know the symphony is here in the community, that we have these offerings and we want to invite them in to come and join us," said Sihler.
Besides just listening to music, the children also get a chance to play instruments at a "petting zoo" after the concert.
Kathleen Sihler hopes the children walk away with a lollipop and hopefully new interest in music. An interest that could turn in to a life-long passion.
The last Lollipop Concert of this season is Saturday, March 9th at 10 a.m. at Davis Hall in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in Cedar Falls.
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