Phantom of the music hallLINCOLN – Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra kicks off the first family concert of the season with The Phantom of the Music Hall. This concert takes place Sunday, November 22, at 2:00PM at O’Donnell Auditorium on the Nebraska Wesleyan University Campus, 50th and Huntington Streets.

The Madcap Puppets are the featured guest artists in this fun, whimsical performance, complete with giant puppets. Madcap Puppets are nationally recognized for original and engaging children’s theater productions and have performed with orchestras, museums, operas, and ballets across the country.

This all ages program begins with the puppets and orchestra learning that they’ve been double booked! Mysterion, the phantom of the concert, has engineered a collision between Madcap Puppets and LSO, demanding they perform together. The program includes family classics like Little Red Riding Hood performed with giant puppets with the recognizable music of Rossini, Bizet, Mozart, and others.Phantom1

While Madcap Puppets are in Lincoln, Madcap puppeteer Dylan Shelton will visit 7 Lincoln schools and community organizations, for a total of 8 performances. Among these are performances at elementary schools, after school programs, and Lincoln City Libraries. Shelton will perform the children’s fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man,” and describe the collaborative process between the puppeteers and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra.

“Puppetry has such an immediate connection to a child’s imagination. Igniting that creative spark has become my passion. Working with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra has been a tremendous way to bring the joy of puppetry and music to children,” said Shelton.

The Phantom of the Music Hall will be preceded by many fun children’s activities. Dietze Music will sponsor an instrument petting zoo, and there will be games with teachers from Harris Academy of the Arts. Children can also enjoy face-painting and other musical arts and crafts. Activities are on the second and basement levels of Rogers Fine Arts Center on the Nebraska Wesleyan University Campus, 50th and Huntington Streets.

Phantom2This performance marks the fourth year of partnership with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and Family Literacy, an English Language Learning program for parents and children through Lincoln Public Schools. Family Literacy improves educational outcomes for students and increases their parents’ literacy and employment skills. LSO has partnered with Family Literacy to provide cultural literacy to immigrant and refugee families in the program. Through this partnership, tickets and transportation are provided free of charge for all 300 family members to each of LSO’s two family concerts, and all attendees are able to participate in the pre-concert activities. Prior to the performance, LSO staff visit each Family Literacy site with translators to prepare them for the concert experience. Attendees receive information including classical music history, instruments used in the concert, and a description of the story line for each performance.

Peggy Newquist, Family Literacy Specialist says “Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra’s Sunday Family Concert events with LPS Family Literacy Schools is a fantastic way for families from many parts of the world to experience the magical world of music, learn more about how music is important in our lives and how music assists us in our overall ability to learn many different subjects.”

Tickets for this concert – and all other LSO Family Concerts – are specially priced at $10 for adults and $5 for children. Family Passes to both family concerts can also be purchased for only $50 per family. Tickets can be ordered online at www.lincolnsymphony.org, or by calling LSO at (402) 476-2211.

LSO’s corporate sponsor for The Phantom of the Music Hall is Ameritas Life Insurance Company. Dietze Music and Harris Academy of the Arts are the pre-concert activities sponsors. The Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment also provided generous support toward LSO’s 2015-2016 season.