Family Concerts

In coordination with the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC), the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association presents a family concert at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater on an afternoon in early December. (The audience is not sedate, so don’t worry about bringing young children to our family concerts.)

Our family concert this 2023–2024 season was on Saturday December 2, 2023, at 3 p.m. It was free of charge and lasted about an hour, ending well before the start of Livermore Downtown’s Sights and Sounds Holiday Parade. In the lobby after the concert, an instrument petting zoo offered audience members an opportunity to try out instruments under supervision of the musicians. (Percussion and strings, mostly violins, this year; no woodwinds or brass just to limit any chance of contagion in this time of Covid.)

Tickets were required even though they were free. Although the event had been (since October!) fully subscribed, there was room on the day of the concert for everyone who showed up with a wait-list ticket in hand.

Note: The Symphony and the Bankhead Theater follow Alameda County Public Health Department protocols and CDC recommendations that apply to performing musicians and large indoor gatherings. See details here. The health and well-being of our audience and musicians is prioritized over all else.

child meets cello with LAS player Joanne Lenigan
trumpet trio
child meets violin with LAS player Amanda Bewley
child meets trumpet
child meets violin with LAS player Susan Ivie
In the Bankhead Theater lobby after the 2017 family concert
at an instrument petting zoo
staffed by LAS orchestra members and assistants from local schools,
prior to pandemic-related health concerns.

Due to public health concerns during the pandemic, there was no 2020 concert, but this festive event returned in early December 2022 and 2021. The 2021 concert, for example, included a holiday sing-along, excerpts from The Nutcracker — with ballet dancers, 76 Trombones (not actually with quite so many trombones!), a Sleigh Ride, a Hanukkah Festival Overture, and selections from The Sound of Music.

The fifth annual family concert Michael Wayne Rice was on December 7, 2019, at 3 p.m., prior to the start of Livermore’s annual holiday parade. The concert lasted about an hour. LAS played Carnival of the Animals, narrated by Michael Wayne Rice; a selection of holiday favorites; and seasonal music. Valley Dance Theatre, accompanied by LAS, also performed. Following the concert, an instrument petting zoo staffed by Symphony musicians offered audience members the opportunity to interact with the musicians and their instruments. As usual, the concert was free, although tickets were required.

The fourth annual free concert was on December 1, 2018, from 3 to about 4 p.m. The Symphony played a selection of holiday favorites and seasonal music. Valley Dance Theatre, accompanied by LAS, performed several selections from the Nutcracker ballet. Following the concert, an instrument petting zoo offered audience members an opportunity to try out musical instruments under supervision of the musicians, assisted by high school students. Although the concert was fully subscribed, at 15 minutes prior to the start of the concert there were plenty of seats for people on the wait list.

The third annual free family-oriented concert — a sellout — was on December 2, 2017. The Symphony played holiday favorites and seasonal music. Valley Dance Theatre performed selections from their production of The Nutcracker, accompanied by LAS. Following the performance, an instrument petting zoo was staffed by Symphony musicians, assisted by high-school music students.

LVPAC hosted its second annual free family concert on December 3, 2016. Performers from Cantabella Children’s Chorus and Valley Dance Theatre were featured in addition to the Symphony. An instrument petting zoo followed the performance.

Peter and the Wolf horns

In “Peter and the Wolf,” which
instruments represent the wolf?

Symphony Storytime and Surprises was the title of a family concert at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore sponsored by Shea Homes. Less than an hour long on the afternoon of December 5, 2015, and followed by an instrument petting zoo, the program included Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz, “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Livermore Mayor John Marchand, and more. The Cantabella Children’s Chorus joined the orchestra for this performance. Tickets were required, but the concert was free. Read the concert program booklet (968K pdf), including lyrics from the sing-a-long which ended the show.

instrument zoo photos by Andrew Edwards of LVPAC, 12/2/17
horns / wolves photo by Jacqueline McBride, 11/5/15