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The Orchestra Sings - Family Concert

  • Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium 307 Church St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (map)

Melody is one of the universal elements of music. Composers and musicians create melodies, which can be sung or played on instruments. The orchestra sings when its musicians play melodies on their instruments. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with a professional orchestra, we will discover how The Orchestra Sings.

BRING YOUR INSTRUMENT and play along with the Symphony. Master of Ceremonies Omari Tau Williams will guide the audience through the concert, letting us know when to sing or play along with the orchestra. An overhead slide show will provide the music and other informative information to help introduce attendees to the orchestra.

The program will include the following selections:
Beethoven “Ode To Joy”
Brackett “Simple Gifts”
Copland “Variations on a Shaker Melody” from Appalachian Spring
Dvorak Largo from Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”
Stravinsky Finale from The Firebird Suite
Papoulis “Oye”

Following the program we will have our INSTRUMENT PETTING ZOO where children of all ages can actually try out various instruments and talk to some of the orchestra musicians.

The Santa Cruz Symphony will once again be joined by members of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, Cabrillo Youth Chorus, and Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band for this production. We will also have artwork from the Kirby School art students displayed in the lobby of the Civic.




Omari Tau Williams received his Bachelor Degree in Music Education at Michigan State University and his Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Houston, Moores School of Music where he studied with mezzo-soprano, Katherine Ciesinski.  He served as Director of Opera Theatre at Sacramento State University from 2012 to 2018 before transitioning to CRC, leading the Vocal Studies Program.

Known as a singer of styles ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Musical Theatre to Pop and R&B,  his experiences as an artist intersect across broad spectrums, including composition, performance, conducting, and both musical and stage direction.   Tau has explored the voice in avant-garde musical styles at Fondation Royaumont’s Voix Nouvelle as well as in musicals such as Disney’s The Lion King, a show which he toured for nearly nine years.

Tau was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera's HGOco in conjunction with The Anti-Defamation League to create the ongoing socio-musical, theatrical experience I Am Called “Me” in conjunction with their No Place For Hate campaign.  His one-act operas Hans In Luck based on a tale by Brothers Grimm and Night at the Algonquin about and featuring texts by Dorothy Parker both received premieres by Lone Star Lyric Theater to extremely favorable reviews.

Tau appears on Albany Records in Roger Nelson’s operatic adaptation of A Room With A View as well as Disney’s A Lion King Christmas recordings.  Tau is a founding member of chamber ensemble MôD, in which he serves as both singer and composer of many of their works.  He is also Co-Founding Artistic Director of Sacramento’s newest operatic arts ensemble, Rogue Arts and Media, Inc.

Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony

Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre

Cabrillo Youth Chorus

Cabrillo Youth Chorus

Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band

Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band


Link Up, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, pairs orchestras with students at schools in their local communities to explore orchestral repertoire and fundamental musical skills, including creative work and composition, through a hands-on music curriculum. Students participating in Link Up attend a culminating concert where they sing and play recorder with the orchestra.

The primary goals of Link Up are to:
1) Teach students how to read music and other fundamental music concepts while learning to play an instrument.
2) Foster existing and new relationships between symphony orchestras and the schools they serve.
3) Expose students to the symphony orchestra and concert hall.

The Santa Cruz Symphony is one of more than 90 sites across the United States, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, & Japan participating in the 2018/19 Link Up program

Earlier Event: February 2
Later Event: March 27
League Preview: Metamorphoses