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Musical dog field trip a howling success

Posted on Monday, June 05, 2023

Music floated through the trees, mixed with the sound of voices and accentuated by an occasional bark. This Saturday at Bryan Park, the Richmond Symphony Mile of Music kicked off its third year, and its first year in a new partnership with the Richmond SPCA. 

Visitors not only got to listen to five different chamber music ensembles from the Richmond Symphony play a variety of music in 15 to 20 minute mini concerts, but some of our dogs awaiting adoption were there on an enrichment field trip with volunteer handlers. Each dog wore an orange “Adopt Me” bandana to strut their stuff.

The event first started in 2020 as a solution for the Richmond Symphony to reach audiences during Covid. Its success led to a repeat performance at Forest Hill Park last year. Organizers said this year’s event at Bryan Park was by far the biggest crowd with several hundred people of all ages attending. 

Dogs and people walked through the tree lined park from point to point following a well-marked path. There was a Brass Quintet, the RVA Woodwind Quintet, the RVA String Quartet, the River City String Quartet and the Principal Woodwind Quintet. Each ensemble chose their own music, which ranged from  from Renaissance music to Chuck Mangione, Kwanza music to Amazing Grace, Mozart to The Beatles, Bach to a Tango and even Let It Go from Frozen. As each group finished the entire crowd moved to the next.

According to Richmond SPCA dogs Camilla, Tahoe, Coconut Oil, Bugle, Oinksey and Jellyfish, the musical afternoon was a howling success. They even got to visit with a Richmond SPCA alum who was there with her family.

Deborah Rider Allen is a dedicated Richmond SPCA volunteer who is retired from 25 years as a freelance writer. She is a professional cellist for Northern Neck Symphony and lives in The Fan with her husband Bill.

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