Cleveland Orchestra Announces 2019-20 Family Concert Series, Music Explorers

Cleveland Orchestra Announces 2019-20 Family Concert Series, Music Explorers

Halloween Spooktacular Family Concert. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2019-20 Family Concert Series supported by the Weiss Family Foundation, for ages 7 and older, and the PNC Music Explorers series, for children ages 3 to 6, are designed to introduce young people to the magic and wonder of orchestral music. A highlight of The Cleveland Orchestra’s educational offerings for young people every year, the Family Concert series celebrates its 50thAnniversary with this season’s programs.

Subscriptions for each series are now available by visiting the Severance Hall Ticket Office,, and by calling 216-231-1111. Tickets to individual performances go on sale in late summer.

The orchestra’s popular Under 18s Free program is available for all concerts. The program offers free tickets (one per regular-priced adult paid admission) to young people, 17 and under. Under 18s Free tickets are not available for box seating.

2019-20 Family Concert Series supported by the Weiss Family Foundation

Saturday, October 26, 2 p.m. — Halloween Spooktacular
Members of The Cleveland Orchestra will dress in Halloween costumes for enchantingly eerie musical fun at festive Severance Hall. The Halloween Spooktacular features an afternoon of music and magic, including Mussorgsky’s mysterious Night on Bald Mountain and Saint-Saëns’s bone-rattling Danse Macabre. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and dress in costume for a contest to be held at 1 p.m., and to enjoy the Orchestra’s Instrument Discovery zone.

Sunday, February 2, 2 p.m. — The Bernstein Beat
Leonard Bernstein was one of the most beloved and influential conductors, composers, and musical educators of the twentieth century. His daughter, Jamie Bernstein, visits Severance Hall to host this one-hour family program designed to introduce kids to her father’s music. In conjunction with this performance, audiences are encouraged to discover more about Leonard Bernstein and his music at a Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage exhibition titled, “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music,” beginning in fall 2019.

Friday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. — Out of this World
This intergalactic journey is a fun-filled concert that promises to transport audience members from Severance Hall to distant galaxies with music from Star Wars, Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), Holst’s The Planets, and more. The evening’s program will feature large projections of photographs taken from the Hubble Telescope, International Space Station, and NASA’s own archives. This event, which includes space-related pre-concert activities, is presented in partnership with Great Lakes Science Center — home to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center. 

Every Cleveland Orchestra Family Concert features engaging pre-concert activities, including the Instrument Discovery zone, which offers hands-on opportunities for children to try playing various orchestral instruments. The Instrument Discovery program and various other free pre-concert events begin one hour before each performance.

PNC Music Explorers Series for 2019-20

The PNC Music Explorers Series is an ideal way for children and families to learn about orchestral instruments, one at a time, with Cleveland Orchestra musicians, special guests, and an engaging host who encourages audience members to sing, clap and move to the music. In addition, each half-hour adventure features brief musical selections and instrument demonstrations created to inspire and entertain young music explorers.

  • The Victorious Viola will be presented on October 18 & 19, with Cleveland Orchestra violist Eliesha Nelson.
  • The Fantastic Flute will be presented on November 15 & 16, with Cleveland Orchestra assistant principal flutist Jessica Sindell.
  • The Cheerful Cello will be presented on March 6 & 7, with Cleveland Orchestra cellist David Alan Harrell.
  • The Triumphant Trumpet will be presented on April 17 & 18, with Cleveland Orchestra trumpet player Jack Sutte.
  • The final concert in the series is Powerful Percussion, presented on May 1 & 2, with Cleveland Orchestra percussionist Thomas Sherwood.
  • In addition, the series includes a special PNC Holiday Music Explorers program, focusing on the traditions and sounds of the season. It features the Christmas Brass Quintet, with members of the Orchestra’s brass section, and will be presented on December 13 & 14 in the Concert Hall at Severance Hall.

PNC Music Explorers concerts are sponsored by PNC Bank and endowed by the Pysht Fund.

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