PITTSBURG  — The Southeast Kansas Symphony aimed to spark an appreciation for music in young area elementary students Wednesday.

Over 800 students — 750 from USD 250 — gathered in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, on the campus of Pittsburg State University, to attend the Young People’s Concert put on by the symphony and Director Raúl Munguia. Munguia said the concert is an educational opportunity.

“Every symphony around the world has an educational program, so even though we are an educational entity, we want to work with the younger generations to build their interest in music,” Munguia said. “Obviously 800 kids will not all want to play music, but the others will gain knowledge and an interest in music and the arts.”

The symphony also took this opportunity to work with video for the first time. The film “The Snowman” was screened for children in attendance. The short film does not contain any dialogue, and the symphony played the soundtrack.

“I had been curious for a while about combining music and video,” Munguia said. “‘The Snowman’ was a perfect opportunity to do it.”

Before the symphony, students roamed the “instrument petting zoo.” Munguia and the symphony combined with Pittsburg High School band and orchestra to show children different instruments, demonstrate their sound and perform short presentations.

“If they see an instrument they like and learn about it, in the future when they can participate in band or orchestra, they may remember they like the trumpet and want to play it,” Munguia said.

He also said the concert would not be possible without great collaboration from USD 250.

“There are six schools in USD 250 and it is great to see everyone here,” Munguia said. “It’s really good for us to see the house full.”

The Young People’s Concert was free and open to the public.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.