Conway Symphony Orchestra’s Children’s Concert

“Carnival of the Animals” Is Wild Family Fun at the Conway Symphony Orchestra’s Children’s Concert at 2 p.m. March 14 Children’s Author Trenton Lee Stewart is Guest Narrator Children nine months old and their 90-year-old great-grandparents will delight at the Conway Symphony Orchestra performance of the “Carnival of the Animals” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 14 at Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway. Best-selling children’s author Trenton Lee Stewart of Little Rock will narrate, with piano soloists John Krebs and Norman Boehm, both music professors at Hendrix College. The children’s concert will also feature “Tubby the Tuba,” with soloist Christian Carichner, visiting assistant professor at UCA.

Tickets are available at the Reynolds Box Office, by phone at 450-3265 or toll free at 1-866-810-0012, and at All tickets are $5 for this special performance, and will be open seating, making the concert an affordable outing for the whole family.

The author of The Mysterious Benedict Society, a best-selling children’s book that was chosen by Al Roker of “The Today Show” for his book club, Stewart will be available to sign books following the concert. He recently was awarded the 24th Annual Porter Fund Library Prize for his children’s novels and adult short fiction by the Central Arkansas Library System and The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

Children’s activities will be offered immediately following the one-hour performance, including refreshments and an “instrument petting zoo,” inviting children to touch and play the instruments. In partnership with The Humane Society of Faulkner County, audience members can also meet animals of the cute, furry variety outside of Reynolds.

The CSO Children’s Concert is always a fun and interesting performance, and this year is no exception. ‘Carnival of the Animals’ will introduce short musical selections, each one representing a different animal, from lions and elephants to kangaroos and swans, with fish scales and piano scales, crazy cuckoos and dancing skeletons.

“The greatest lesson of Carnival of the Animals is that music is to be enjoyed,” said CSO Conductor/Music Director Israel Getzov. “It’s great family concert fare.”

The 14-part work contains musical portraits of various animals and borrows music from several other pieces to entertaining effect. Though it was written for fun, its clever use of various instruments offers interesting insight into the instruments themselves. The brief parts mimic the sounds an animal makes or characterize the way it moves or carries itself.

Now in its 24th season, the Conway Symphony Orchestra exists to create meaningful experiences through performances and education. The CSO roster is composed of both professional and pre-professional musicians performing a six-concert season, plus classroom educational programs. Through the support of corporate and individual donors, the CSO keeps tickets affordable, making the enjoyment of classical and popular music available to the entire community.