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Orchestra seeks child who shouted wonder-filled 'Wow!' at end of concert

They want to reward the child whose enthusiasm for Mozart charmed the entire hall.

They want to reward the child whose enthusiasm for Mozart charmed the entire hall

The Handel & Haydn Society wants to find a young child who blurted "Wow!" at the end of a concert. (Sam Brewer)

There's nothing quite like that moment at the end of a fantastic concert when the final notes sound, and a long hush falls over the audience as people savour the experience.

But at a recent classical concert in Boston, one child just couldn't hold back his or her enthusiasm. 

The Handel and Haydn Society, one of America's oldest performing arts groups, had just finished performing Mozart's Masonic Funeral at Boston's Symphony Hall, when a young child broke the silence with an exuberant "Wow!"

The awe in the child's voice is so palpable and genuine that it won laughter and applause from the audience, and deeply touched the musicians. Listen here:

Now the orchestra is looking to track down the so-called "Wow Child" so they can meet him or her.

"At the end of Sunday's performance of Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music, something happened that I had never before experienced in my 40+ years of concert going," wrote Handel and Haydn Society president and CEO David Snead, who goes on to describe the moment. 

Snead wants to give "the newest H+H fan" and his family a copy of the recording of the concert, and invite them to meet conductor Harry Christophers when he returns to Boston later this year.

David Snead, CEO of the Handel & Haydn Society orchestra, tells As It Happens host Carol Off the moment a child issued an audible 'Wow!' during a performance of Mozart's Masonic Funeral is proof that classical music can touch the hearts of anyone, young or old. 5:06

"It was one of the most wonderful moments I've experienced in the concert hall, and I'm glad you were all there to experience it as well."

The moment is especially touching given that classical orchestras are struggling to attract younger audiences.

"That actually brought me to tears," tweeted composer Mary Jane Leach.

"I was there and was an extraordinary moment," wrote a concertgoer. "The kid's 'Wow' was the best recognition for Mozart's music and this wonderful orchestra."

The Handel and Haydn Society was founded in 1815 and is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and classical music.

Update: The orchestra found the "Wow Child," and his grandmother was a guest on As It Happens. Hear that interview here.

About the Author

Jennifer Van Evra is a Vancouver-based journalist and digital producer for q. She can be found on Twitter @jvanevra or email jennifer.vanevra@cbc.ca.

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