Tucson Symphony Orchestra Family Program To Feature The Story of Babar The Little Elephant

by Tucson Symphony

José Luis Gomez to Conduct Poulenc’s Work with Narration by Reid Park Zoo Educator Jed Dodds

40-Minute Program also Features Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk,”  “Elephant” from Carnival of the Animals and More, Plus an Instrument “Petting Zoo” After the Performances

(Tucson, AZ)─The elephant will definitely be in the room when the Tucson Symphony Orchestra performs a program for families culminating with Francis Poulenc’s The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant. Jose Luis Gomez will conduct two performances at 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, February 24 at the Leo Rich Theater. Jed Dodds, Reid Park Zoo Educator and host of KVOA’s “Zoo 4 You,” will narrate the tale. There will be an instrument “petting zoo” on the plaza outside the theater from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. The “petting zoo” will be hosted by the Civic Orchestra of Tucson.

The beloved character Babar the elephant was created by Jean de Brunhof and his wife Cecile in 1931. The Story of Babar is the first of six Babar books that de Brunhof wrote and illustrated. Paul de Brunhof continued his father’s work after Jean’s death in 1937. Paul created a complete elephant world with Babar as king of the elephant nation. More recently there have been a Babar movie, TV series, and various Babar merchandise.

In 1940, Francis Poulenc was living in the countryside outside Paris. One day, his three-year-old cousin Sophie, placed her copy of Babar the Elephant upside down on the piano’s music stand and said, “Play this.” Poulenc improvised an accompaniment to each scene and Sophie was thrilled. Before long, everyone in the neighborhood came by to hear the new piece. Poulenc wrote the music down and dedicated it to his young cousins and neighbors. It was later arranged for orchestra.

The 40-minute program will open with the popular circus number, “Entrance of the Gladiators,” and include excerpts from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and Henry Mancini’s timeless hit, “Baby Elephant Walk” among other short pieces.

The Story of Babar the Little Elephant is sponsored by Tucson Federal Credit Union. Underwriting for the Family series is generously provided by Carol des Cognets, Peter and Dana Smith, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and Geico.

Tickets for The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant are $18 for adults and $12 for children under 18. They are available online at www.tucsonsymphony.org, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office, 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 520.882.8585.  TSO Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.

Programming, artists and prices are subject to change.

Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158