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Allegro, Adagio, Presto change-o

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The Amazing Carrington
Michael Folker uses magic to get kids excited about classical music.
MPR Photo/Karl Gehrke

One of the biggest challenges for many in the classical music world is finding new ways to get kids excited about symphony orchestras. For Chicago percussionist Michael Folker, the solution is simple: just use a little magic. 

Folker is a Chicago percussionist who plays with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra and other groups. Since 2001 he's been stepping out from behind the tympani, bass drums and gongs to center stage and using a new bag of tricks to perform as "The Amazing Carrington."

Folker is in Wayzata for a Friday evening performance of magic and music with the Allegro Con Brio orchestra.

As the Amazing Carrington, Folker isn't interested in simply creating illusions to orchestral accompaniment. He tells Minnesota Public Radio's Karl Gehrke that he wants to give young audiences an entertaining show that provides them with an understanding of classical music.