Orchestral Family Programs with Narrator

Orchestral Family Programs with Narrator
© Chris Engelsma
Following last month's snapshot of family-friendly pieces inspired by dance, here are selected narrated works from the Music Sales catalog. An ideal way to involve local orators — anchors, professors, actors, politicians — in your orchestral culture, these combinations of charming music and impish texts are sure to bring down the house at your next family program.

Herbert Chappell
Paddington Bear's First Concert (18 minutes)
From grand cinematic gestures to the exotic sounds of the Peruvian jungles, Spanish tarantella, and Hungarian "cafe society," Chappell chronicles Paddington Bear's interactions with a host of different cultures and musical tastes.

Morton Gould
The Jogger and the Dinosaur (22 minutes)
An unlikely meeting between a jogger and a dinosaur prompts dancing and other antics all to the strains of a contemporary rap narration.

Robert Kapilow
Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs & Ham (18 minutes)
Dr. Seuss's Gertrude McFuzz (18 minutes)
Two settings of the children's literature magus are wacky and delightful in the most Seussian way imaginable.

I Want to Be a Superhero (12 minutes)
An ordinary, imaginative boy pines for super powers, so that he can do his chores and finish his homework before dinner.

Francis Poulenc
L'Histoire de Babar (22 minutes)
The story of the famous elephant told through the magic of Poulenc's shimmering music and quirky turns of phrase.

Robert Xavier Rodríguez 
A Colorful Symphony (20 minutes)
A fanciful introduction to the instruments of the orchestra, setting a chapter of the children's classic The Phantom Tollbooth. It is the orchestra itself that provides all the colors of the day, but, without the guidance of the conductor's baton, chaos can ensue.

Trunks, A Circus Story for Narrator and Orchestra (18 minutes)
This family favorite integrates familiar melodies (such as The Magic Flute theme and Mexican Hat Dance) into the charming story of a boy who befriends a circus elephant.

We, the People: The Story of the American Constitution (15 minutes)
For all of the budding history buffs, this musical snapshot of colonial Philadelphia provides a lively account of how our country's most important document came to be.

Nathaniel Stookey
The Composer is Dead (30 minutes)
From the macabre and idolized mind of Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events), comes a bitter, whimsical tale, which both satirizes and celebrates classical music's longstanding preoccupation with death.

Terry Riley
FAIRYTALE (a big hand for Dr. Seuss, please!) (2005) 4 minutes
One white-bearded, lovable elder statesman pays tribute to another in this uncanny homage to the work of Theodor Geisel, with a backing ensemble of choir, bassoon, low brass, and percussion.

Related News