Louisville Orchestra And Library Team Up For Free Storytime Concert Series

The Louisville Orchestra and the Louisville Free Public Library are teaming up for a new free concert series for young children and their families. The “Once Upon an Orchestra” concerts are supported by the Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, The Brown-Forman Foundation and Heaven Hill Distillery. 

The “Once Upon an Orchestra” shows combine music-making and storytelling to introduce young children to the world of an orchestra. Louisville Orchestra musicians will play in small ensembles, while telling stories that will help the young ones be engaged and happy.  Each 30 minute interactive concert is followed by a 30 minute activity that allows the children to build a musical instrument from recycled material. 

The Louisville Orchestra Director of Education & Community Engagement Sarah Lempke O’Hare will lead the program. She explains in a press release her visions for the events. 

““With Once Upon An Orchestra, we are building on our established MakingMUSIC program,” says O’Hare. “By bringing free small ensemble musical performances to LFPL family audiences in branches across the Louisville Metro, the LO will reach more children, as well as fill the increasing need for more equitable access to quality performing arts family opportunities.”

Understanding the benefits of music to the young brain, the orchestra has big hopes for these shows. “We’re keenly aware of the benefits that participating in music activities offers to children and hope to inspire and nurture a love of music in all youth in our community,” said O’Hare.

There are performances scheduled at 17 library locations starting Nov. 13 and continuing through April of 2022. A list of the programs can be found below and here.  Reservations are not required and all ages are welcome. Please follow the current protocols at your library which currently include everyone needing to wear masks. 

“Once Upon An Orchestra” Schedule

Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. – Jeffersontown library, 10635 Watterson Trail

Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. – Main library, 301 York Street

Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. – St. Matthews-Eline library, 3940 Grandview Ave.

Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. – Iroquois library, 601 W. Woodlawn Ave.

Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. – Newberg library, 4800 Exeter Ave.

Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. – Northeast Regional library, 15 Bellevoir Circle

Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. – Crescent Hill library, 2762 Frankfort Ave.

Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. – Southwest Regional library, 9725 Dixie Highway

Jan. 13 at 10:15 a.m – Shively library, 3920 Dixie Highway

Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. – Western library, 604 South Tenth St. 

Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. – Fairdale library, 10620 W. Manslick Road

Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. – Middletown library, 12556 Shelbyville Road

Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. – Shawnee library, 3912 West Broadway

April 4 at 2 p.m. – Highlands-Shelby Park library, 1250 Bardstown Road #4

April 6 at 2 p.m. – Bon Air library, 2816 Del Rio Place

April at 2 p.m. – South Central Regional library, 7300 Jefferson Boulevard

April 7 at 6 p.m. – Portland library, 3305 NW Parkway

Important information from the release: 

Additional program information is available. Contact Louisville Orchestra Director of Education and Community Sarah Lempke O’Hare at 502.587.8681 or Louisville Free Public Library 


Where the Wild Things Are: In Music and Color
Join along with a musical telling of the famous children’s story of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Audience members will be asked to draw along with the story, letting the music inspire their own setting of the story.

The Storytelling Adventure
Music captures many feelings and moods. Using classical themes and variations the audience will create a story with Louisville Orchestra musicians inspired by how the music makes you feel. Characters come to life when pairing music with collaborative,interactive storytelling.

Musical Friends from Around the World
Sharing music and stories from different cultures musicians share personal stories related to where they are from – Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Holland!

Peter and the Wolf
Meet instruments from the woodwind family and hear the classic story of Peter and the Wolf. The audience will help play the characters from the story of this condensed version of the tale.

Michael Finney and the Magic Songbook
Join a string quartet in an original story adventure with fairies and elves as they try to outsmart an evil dragon and save the day with a magic songbook. The audience will learn about melody and rhythm to help tell the magical story.

Trip to the Musical Zoo
A string quintet takes you on a musical journey through a zoo with the famous Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. The audience will not only enjoy the journey but have fun acting as the animals too!

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About the Author

Louisville Orchestra And Library Team Up For Free Storytime Concert Series

Erica Rucker is LEO Weekly’s Arts & Entertainment Editor. In addition to her work at LEO, she is a haphazard writer,  photographer, tarot card reader, and fair to middling purveyor of motherhood. Her earliest memories are of telling stories to her family and promising that the next would be shorter than the first. They never were. You can follow Erica on Twitter, but beware of honesty, overt blackness and occasional geeky outrage.


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