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Panthers and Horses and Bears…Oh My! Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Turns the Schuster Center into A Musical Zoo

A Special Gift for Those Who Bring Their Stuffed Animals to the Concert

Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x 1138

DAYTON, OH (January 23, 2015) – On Sunday, February 8 at 3 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will present A Musical Zoo, the second concert in Dayton Power & Light Foundation’s 2014–2015 Family Concert Series.

Panthers and horses and bears…oh my! The DPO explores the animal kingdom as it proudly presents an afternoon of songs all about animals. There’s Haydn’s “The Bear” (Symphony No. 82), Tchaikovsky’s “Puss in Boots” from Sleeping Beauty, Copland’s familiar “I Bought Me a Cat”, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”, and Henry Mancini’s famous “Pink Panther”. The DPO will perform Leroy Anderson's famous Home Stretch and will try to finish the piece before the greatest thoroughbred of all time, Secretariat, crosses the finish line on the video screen above the orchestra. The whole audience is invited to cheer on their favorite contender in this big race.  And there will even be an "Old MacDonald" sing-along, so every audience member – the young and the young-at-heart as well – should come prepared to shout out his or her best animal sounds!

The DPO will be joined by two vocalists from Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence Program, soprano Sara Schabas and mezzo-soprano Amanda Fink, and by dancers from Dayton Ballet II Senior Company, filling the stage with unforgettable performances and great fun.

Maestro Gittleman will be bringing several of his favorite stuffed animals, and the DPO members will have some of their beloved stuffed animals on hand, too, turning the Mead Theatre Stage into a frolicking and festive Musical Zoo.  All concertgoers are invited to bring their favorite stuffed animals as well, as many as can fit in one’s seat, and be ready to have a furry good time!   The DPO is so excited about turning the Schuster Center into A Musical Zoo that they are giving away one free C-tier ticket for Dayton Ballet’s upcoming production of Peter Pan to every person who brings a stuffed animal to the concert.  Audience members can simply show their stuffed animals to any ticket agent at the Schuster Center Box Office on the day of the performance of A Musical Zoo to receive their free tickets to any performance of Peter Pan, showing March 20-22, 2015 at the Schuster Center.  Limit four Peter Pan gift tickets per family.

In addition, fun pre-concert activities are scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center, including an instrument “petting zoo”, a lion mask craft table, coloring pages, and a scavenger hunt. Young musicians from Dayton Philharmonic’s Q the Music program will be performing on the DP&L stage in the Wintergarden before the Family concert begins.  After the concert, children of all ages can join Maestro Gittleman in the Wintergarden for a festive stuffed animal photo opportunity.  Patrons should plan to bring their cameras and smart phones. It’s an entire afternoon of family entertainment.

Tickets for A Musical Zoo are $22 for adults and $12 for students and children and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at  Senior, teacher and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information on other upcoming performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit


About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.

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