Rheda Becker, in concert with kidsImagine a mob of tiny...


May 01, 1994|By Stephanie Shapiro

Rheda Becker, in concert with kids

Imagine a mob of tiny tots thrilling to the chase of the "William Tell Overture" or sitting at the edge of their seats as Peter stalks the wolf.

After hundreds of concerts and thousands of kids, this exuberant scene has not lost its joy for Rheda Becker, narrator for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's various children's concert series.

"It must be the most wonderful job in the world," says Ms. Becker, who dreamed of this profession as a child after she first heard a recording of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf."

In April, Ms. Becker was feted by the BSO for 20 years of introducing children to symphonic music in a simple, respectful format. "I never talk down to an age group," she says. Ms. Becker's dialogue with her young audience is "all geared to the idea that everyone there feels they belong at a concert and the concert is for them."

Booked to narrate a single youth concert in 1974, Ms. Becker's engaging way with children earned her a regular job. Today, it is not uncommon for a parent who as a child first heard Ms. Becker narrate "The Story of Babar" to bring her own offspring to a BSO children's concert.

BSO children's concerts are planned with fleeting attention spans and youthful energy in mind. At a typical performance, Ms. Becker introduces the most challenging pieces first, when children are fresh, and works her way to those that are more accessible. Often, children are swept into the action by being asked to clap, conduct or gallop to the music. It can make for

a raucous and rousing event.

There are many more concert seasons ahead for the gracious narrator. "I feel very fresh to the task," she says. Most people take aerobic classes or run laps around the track to keep in shape. But Rachael Moyer stays fit by doing something different: power

lifting. At just over 5 feet tall, this 21-year-old Columbia resident can bench-press 123 pounds.

"If you know you can power lift, then you can do anything," sayMs. Moyer, a senior elementary education major at Towson State University. "It's something that I want to do for the rest of my life."

She started power lifting in 1992 after being introduced to it bcollege friends. Now, a group of 15 lifters trains at least four evenings a week in their coach's basement.

Ms. Moyer describes the sport as fun, and adds that power lifting serves as a social outlet as well as a form of exercise.

"Power lifting is also very prestigious," says Ms. Moyer, who is two-time national power lifting champion. She won the United States Powerlifting Federation (USPF) Junior National Competition in March as well as last year's American Drug Free Powerlifting Association National Collegiate Championship.

"Competitions provide you with mental confidence," Ms. Moyesays of the power-lifting events, which consist of squats, bench-presses and dead lifts.

"They help conquer stage fright," she adds, "and make you feel better about yourself."

Ms. Moyer, a member of the USPF Junior World Powerlifting Team, hopes to raise enough money to attend the 1994 Junior Men's and Women's World Powerlifting Championships, to be

held next month in Bali, Indonesia.

Kara Kenna

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