Symphony Storytime, the Oregon Symphony’s free digital series featuring its musicians reading and accompanying children’s books, may have been created during lockdown, but it’s enduring despite Portlanders being mostly out and about. The symphony has officially premiered the third season of the project, announcing a slate of six new episodes.
“Our previous two seasons of Symphony Storytime have garnered worldwide viewership and acclaim, underscoring the continued demand for engaging, entertaining and educational musical content for young children,” Scott Showalter, president and CEO of Oregon Symphony, stated in a press release. “With fans spanning across several continents, this innovative digital series has helped expand Oregon Symphony’s mission to bring the joy and power of music to families and classrooms in our own community and throughout the world.”
Currently, the symphony is streaming an episode focused on Your Name Is a Song (written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Luisa Uribe) and featuring the talents of assistant principal percussion Stephen Kehner.
“In addition to performing with a world-class orchestra, my role as a musician with the Oregon Symphony includes engaging with our wonderful community and supporting our music education efforts,” said Kehner. “We know that children around the world have loved watching these series over and over again and I’m thrilled to participate in this project, sharing incredible stories and instruments with kids of all different backgrounds and cultures.”
Upcoming episodes will feature books such as Llama Llama Red Pajama, Grumpy Monkey and Change Sings by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman (who recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration). The symphony has also announced that later in the year, it will offer a mixture of both English and Spanish language episodes.