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Oregon Symphony announces second season of Symphony Storytime

Worldwide release of the educational digital series launches 16 new episodes, sponsored by Reach Out and Read Oregon, featuring multicultural children’s storybooks in both English and Spanish

PORTLAND, Ore., March 16,2021

Today, Oregon Symphony announces the release of its second season of Symphony Storytime. The 16-episode educational digital series, premiering Tuesday, March 16, 2021, features Oregon Symphony musicians accompanying the reading of beloved illustrated children’s books. The new season of Symphony Storytime will include 12 English and four Spanish language children’s books representing diverse stories and a variety of musical instruments. The series will feature highly repeatable, popular children’s stories like “The Snowy Day,” “Harlem’s Little Black Bird,” “Una Extraña Visita” and more. All of the 16 online episodes will be free for the public to enjoy.

“It was important for us that this season of Symphony Storytime speaks to our global audience of multicultural families,” says Oregon Symphony Associate Conductor Norman Huynh. “The episodes are created to be engaging, educational, entertaining and relatable family entertainment, while demonstrating the magic of music and storytelling to young audiences. There are also timely themes found in all of this season’s books about the importance of resilience, problem solving, working together, self-care and self-awareness.”

Season two of Symphony Storytime is sponsored by Reach Out and Read Oregon, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting children’s literacy. The content is curated especially for pre-k to early elementary school audiences, and introduces children to classical music in an imaginative way as part of storytelling.

“We are so proud to partner with the Oregon Symphony on this digital series which brings children’s books to life through classical music and instruments. Symphony Storytime perfectly aligns with our mission to promote early literacy and positive child-caregiver interactions with families of all backgrounds and economic means,” says Executive Director Samira Godil at Reach Out and Read Oregon. “We hope families everywhere will watch, engage and enjoy this series together.”

Symphony Storytime was originally inspired by parents’ desire for meaningful digital content for their young children as families are encouraged to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series has since become a valued resource for at-home and classroom learning. Kids can follow along with the narrator-read book as it is featured on-screen and accompanied by an Oregon Symphony musician performing the “soundtrack” inspired by each story. Each episode also includes an educational segment that features fun facts about the highlighted instrument. The first Symphony Storytime series premiered in 2020, and has been used by teachers in virtual classrooms around the world. Teachers and parents worldwide have expressed enthusiasm and a need for this type of educational content, and have requested additional episodes of the Symphony Storytime series.

This year, Oregon Symphony has selected a variety of hosts to narrate each 10-15 minute episode. The series will kick off with bilingual Oregon Symphony Music Director Laureate, Carlos Kalmar, whose reading of “Una Extraña Visita” with percussion will be the first story released in Spanish, alongside “Jazz Baby” with trumpet in English. New episodes will be released every two weeks into August 2021, and made available on Oregon Symphony’s website and YouTube channel.

To experience Symphony Storytime, as well as Oregon Symphony’s recently announced 2021-2022 season programming, visit www.orsymphony.org or call 503-228-1353.

A full list of Oregon Symphony’s 2021 Symphony Storytime episodes is included below.

2021 Symphony Storytime Book Titles and Episodes

Jazz Baby featuring the trumpet
Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Hosted by Shalanda Sims and featuring Doug Reneau, Trumpet
A be-boppin ’baby and his big, rhythmic family make some jazzy music together.

“Una Extraña Visita,” presentando la percusión (Presented in Spanish)
Escrito por Alma Flor Ada e ilustrado por Vivi Escriva
Narrado por Carlos Kalmar y presentación musical por Sergio Carreño, Assistant Principal Timpanist/Percussion (Asistente Principal de Timpani/Percusión)
Un cuento de visitas sorpresivas que comparten su música durante toda una semana.
(Every day for a week, surprise visitors arrive and bring their music with them.)

The Snowy Day featuring the timpani and percussion
Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
Hosted by Shalanda Sims and featuring Jon Greeney, Principal Timpanist
Join Peter’s adventures in the deep snow and experience the wonder of a new, snowy world.

“Abuela,” presentando la flauta (Presented in Spanish)
Escrito por Arthur Dorros e ilustrado por Elisa Kleven
Narrado por Sergio Carreno y presentación musical por Martha Long, Principal Flute (Flauta Principal)
Mientras viaja en autobús con su abuela, Rosalba se imagina que son llevadas al cielo y vuelan sobre muchos lugares especiales de la ciudad de Nueva York.
(While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.)

Because featuring the viola
Written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Amber Ren
Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Kenji Bunch, Viola
A young girl's love of the symphony and her journey to center stage is full of discovery, persistence, and magic.

“Green is a Chile Pepper,” presentando la percusión (Presented in Spanish)
Escrito por Roseanne Greenfield Thong e ilustrado por John Parra
Narrado por Carlos Kalmar y presentación musical por Sergio Carreño, Assistant Principal
Timpanist/Percussion (Asistente Principal de Timpani/Percusión)
Únete a la fiesta de esta familia mexicana y aprende cómo todos los colores del arcoíris son parte de sus vidas, y cómo estas tradiciones culturales pueden ser divertidas y deliciosas!
(Join the party with this Mexican family and learn how all the colors of the rainbow fit their lives, and how cultural traditions can be joyful—and delicious!)

The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale featuring the bass trombone
Adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett
Hosted by Shalanda Sims and featuring Charles Reneau, Bass Trombone
One by one, a crowd of animals make room for a cozy nap in a lost mitten, until a tiny mouse causes a wonderfully funny outcome.

“Buenas Noches Luna,” presentando el violín (Presented in Spanish)
Escrito por Margaret Wise Brown e ilustrado por Clement Hurd
Narrado por Sergio Carreño y presentación musical por Inés Voglar Belgique, Assistant Principal Second Violin (Asistente Principal de los Segundos Violines)
Un cuento clásico de la literatura infantil, es el libro ideal para culminar el día.
(A classic tale from children’s literature and the ideal book to end the day)

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes featuring the bassoon
Written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean
Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Carin Miller Packwood, Principal Bassoon
Pete the Cat goes walking down the street. Along the way, his white shoes change colors. But Pete keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song.

Berlioz the Bear featuring the double bass
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Jeffrey Johnson, Bass
Berlioz the Bear and his fellow musicians are due to play for the town ball when their bandwagon becomes stuck in the road. A strange buzzing in Berlioz's double bass turns into a surprise that saves the day.

All Because You Matter featuring the French horn
Written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Bryan Collier
Hosted by Shalanda Sims and featuring Graham Kingsbury, Assistant Principal French Horn
A lyrical, heart-lifting tribute to Black and Brown children everywhere that is filled with hope, assurance, and love.

Harlem’s Little Blackbird
Written by Renée Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson
Hosted by Shalanda Sims and featuring Doug Reneau, Trumpet
Can a voice stop the rain? Can it take you around the world? Can it change people's minds about justice and equality? Singer Florence Mills' life story shows us how it happens.

When the Moon is Full featuring the flute
Written by Penny Pollock and illustrated by Mary Azarian
Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Alicia DiDonato Paulsen, Assistant Principal Flute
The twelve full moons of the year, with traditional Native American names, are described in lyrical poems and illustrated with hand-colored woodcuts.

Drum Dream Girl featuring the timpani and percussion
Written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López
Hosted by Shalanda Sims and featuring Jon Greeney, Principal Timpanist
Inspired by the story of a young Chinese-African-Cuban girl, we learn how her courage changed music for all.

Edward the Emu featuring the bassoon
Written by Sheena Knowles and illustrated by Rod Clement
Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Carin Miller Packwood, Principal Bassoon
Tired of being an emu, Edward decides to try being like other animals at the zoo, but he soon discovers that being himself is the best after all.

Love featuring the viola
Written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Loren Long
Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Kenji Bunch, Viola
This heartfelt celebration of love celebrates the diverse and powerful ways that it connects us all.

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About Reach Out and Read Oregon
Reach Out and Read Oregon (ROR Oregon) is an official affiliate of the national organization, Reach Out and Read, Inc., founded in 1989 at Boston Medical Center. The evidence-based nonprofit organization gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Reach Out and Read Oregon’s 1,700 pediatric clinicians served over 80,000 children and shared 154,000 books at 168 program sites around the state over the last year. Reach Out and Read is a registered 501(c)(3). Learn more at www.reachoutandread.org/oregon

Follow Reach and Read Oregon on Instagram @reachoutandreadoregon and Facebook @reachoutaandreadoregon

About Oregon Symphony
The multi-Grammy Award-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director David Danzmayr, it serves more than 235,000 people annually through live concerts and award-winning education and community engagement programs. The Oregon Symphony has broken attendance and fundraising records in recent years, while innovating on stage through new series such as SoundSights, Sounds of Home and SoundStories. Additionally, syndicated programming for broadcast reaches tens of millions of people throughout the world. The 2021-2022 season marks the 125th anniversary for the Oregon Symphony, the oldest orchestra in the western United States. For more information, visit www.orsymphony.org.

Follow Oregon Symphony on Instagram @OregonSymphony and Facebook @OregonSymphony

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Contact Information:
Grady Britton
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503.972.8821