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Students Get Preview Of Gift Of Hope Concert

March 13, 2012, 6:06 PM by Peggy Moyer

Students Get Preview Of Gift Of Hope Concert
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The story is more than a hundred years old, but the message of the book, "The Selfish Giant," hasn't changed.

Oscar Wilde's story of a selfish giant who caught children playing in his garden is more than 100 years old. But Tuesday, Dan Goeller of Sioux Falls shares his version of the book. And it takes a 40-piece orchestra to tell it.

"Every afternoon as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the giant;s garden," Goeller said while reading to students.

Goeller turned the story into an orchestral arrangement.  Tuesday, he taught St. Mary elementary students about instruments and how their sounds represent characters or elements of the story. The flute arrangements are written for fluttering birds, and the tuba, the biggest instrument, represents the giant.

"I remember this story when I was a little boy and I re-discovered it a few years ago when I told it to my two little girls. And so it just struck me as a compelling, beautiful story that would translate really well into an adaptation for a symphony orchestra and narrator," Goeller said.

Wilde's story involves a tiny boy who warms the giant's heart. His garden is opened to the children and they become friends.

Peggy Moyer: What was the best part of the story today?
St. Mary second-grade student Morgan Whiting: When the giant let the children play in the garden.

Moyer: What do you think the moral of the story is?
St. Mary second-grade student Genet Czarnecki: To share everything with everybody.

"The Selfish Giant" is a great story for kids. It has a wonderful lesson. It's also a great story for everyone and it's being performed live with a 40-piece orchestra at the Gift of Hope concert. 

"The Selfish Giant" is going to be the featured piece during a fundraising concert and Chad McKenzie will narrate it. He and is family used the grief ministry programs of Catholic Family Services when they experienced the loss of a son.

"We'd also like to install the message of hope and redemption. That is part of Oscar's original story," Goeller said.

Proceeds from the Gift of Hope Concert will go to support Catholic Family Services.  There will be two performances on Saturday, March 24, at the O'Gorman Performing Arts Center.  

Visit the Catholic Foundation website for ticket information.

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