On Saturday, May 21st, The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) will perform "Carnival of the Animals," a family concert bringing together visual and performing arts. WSO Music Director Janna Hymes will conduct. As the Symphony plays the animal-themed music of the program, dancers from Virginia Regional Ballet and local artist Bob Oller will bring the animals to life through movement and artwork. Oller will paint live as the musicians play, with his work projected onto two large screens flanking the stage so the audience can watch as his characters unfold.

Said WSO Executive Director Carolyn Keurajian: "The children's classic "Carnival of the Animals" is perfect for introducing kids to classical music. Each movement represents a different animal - such as a lion, elephant, donkey and swan - and children love making connections between the instruments and the corresponding animals they represent." Hymes will also talk about the various instruments of the orchestra to introduce children to their unique sounds and qualities.

"Her playful interactions with children have been a highlight of past educational concerts," said Keurajian. The collaboration with Virginia Regional Ballet and Bob Oller makes this educational event all the more entertaining and engaging.

In addition to ballet and painting, fanciful "Carnival of the Animal" poems by Ogden Nash will be narrated by Elisabeth Reiss, wife of Mitchell Reiss, President of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Several interactive events are planned after the concert. The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra will host an instrument "petting zoo" with approximately 30 instruments for children to explore. Keurajian explained this is a great way for kids to choose an instrument they might like to learn. In addition to the instrument "petting zoo," Bob Oller will demonstrate how to draw animals, and dancers from the Virginia Regional Ballet will show audience members how to move like an animal through dance.

This concert is made possible thanks to generous sponsorship by Dominion Foundation, the Williamsburg Community Foundation, Two Friends of Music, and the Charles and Millicent Brown Family Foundation. It will be held May 21st at 2 p.m. at the Williamsburg Community Chapel. Tickets are $15 for adults/$10 for children. All ticketing is General Admission. Buy tickets online at

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