The Long Beach Symphony playing Barber and Mahler will host guest soprano Elissa Johnston.

Long Beach Symphony Family Concert on February 2 free to all children under 18

As part of a busy week of free concerts for LBUSD students, Long Beach Symphony will celebrate things that fly with a fun-filled musical event for families.

On Saturday, February 2 at 2:00 PM, the Symphony will present “Up! Up! And Away!,” a Family Concert that explores things that fly – from bumblebees to birds, kites to magic carpets, dragons to aliens, and superheroes to starships! The concert, which starts at 2:00 PM, will be preceded by a Musical Playground: 2 hours of entertaining activities that are free and open to the public beginning at 12 noon on the plaza of the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.). The entire community is invited to enjoy an instrument petting zoo, parachute play, face painting, arts and crafts, story time, corn hole, ping pong, and other forms of interactive musical activities absolutely free of charge. Best of all, children 17 years old and under will receive free admission to the concert thanks in part to a grant from the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation that has partnered with the Long Beach Symphony to make these concerts accessible to all children throughout the region.

Maestro Eckart Preu will lead the orchestra in performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, Saint-Saëns’ The Swan from Carnival of the Animals, as well as familiar tunes from the movies E.T., Harry Potter, Star Trek, and more. Audiences enjoy an afternoon of interactive musical activities, sing-alongs, conducting, dancing, and more! 

To facilitate attendance from Long Beach’s 9th district, Long Beach Transit will provide free “Symphony Express” roundtrip bus transportation from the Michelle Obama Library at 5870 Atlantic Avenue to the Long Beach Performing Arts Center (check Symphony website for additional information). The Symphony will also partner with Arts Council Long Beach, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach Ballet, Long Beach Youth Chorus and other arts organizations, to create a festival-like atmosphere. 

“Our first Family Concert in April 2018 was hugely successful, filling almost all 3,000 seats in the Terrace Theater,” enthused Symphony President Kelly Lucera. “It was wonderful to see families from all over Long Beach experiencing the magic of a professional symphony orchestra. We can’t wait to do it again on February 2nd.”

The Family Concert Series and Musical Playground are made possible by grants and donations from the Earl B. and Lorraine H. Miller Foundation.

Participation in the Musical Playground is free for people of all ages, and the Family Concert is free to children 17 years old and under (must be accompanied by an adult). Adult concert tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance online, through the Symphony box office or at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.LongBeachSymphony.orgor call 562-436-3203 ext. 1.  Tickets are also available on Ticketmaster.

Though the Family Concert series is a recent undertaking, the Long Beach Symphony’s Toyota Youth Concerts have been an integral part of the Long Beach Unified School District’s music education programs for more than 35 years!  This year, on January 31 and February 1, 12,000 4th and 5th-grade students of the Long Beach Unified School District and select Wilmington schools will be bused to the Long Beach Performing Arts Center Terrace Theater for the opportunity to experience the orchestra playing live in the concert hall. Programming is selected to align with the curriculum students are studying in their classrooms to help them make connections between music, math, science, and history. For these concerts, students from the LBUSD All-District High School Orchestra will have the opportunity to play alongside the professional musicians of the Symphony. This rare and exciting opportunity gives these special students an inside look at how a professional orchestra operates and the expectations they need to reach to pursue a professional career in music.

Thanks to support from Toyota Motor Sales USA, Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation, and California Arts Council, the Toyota Youth Concerts are made available to the LBUSD free of charge.

This article was released by the Long Beach Symphony.