ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — For decades, the Saint Joseph Symphony has hosted a field trip to the Missouri Theater each fall to introduce elementary students to the historic venue and to orchestral music. This year musicians will perform on the Missouri Theater stage, but due to the pandemic, the audience experience will be virtual.

According to a news release, guest conductor John Strickler will lead an ensemble of 13 symphony players presenting “Aesop’s Fables” by composer, Richard Maltz and narrated by storyteller, Brad Shaw.

“The challenges of the pandemic have also presented us with opportunities,” said SJS Managing Director, Lori McAlister. “John had suggested Aesop’s Fables long before the pandemic. ... We had not done any recording or streaming before, but this seemed an ideal opportunity to try it out.”

Instructors at public and private schools, home schools, music classes and after-school programs are all encouraged to register. Anyone with access to the internet may log in to watch the program.

Thanks to grant funding from The Harry and Helena Messick Charitable Trust, there will be no charge to participating schools and student groups. It will be available on YouTube (with a password) from Oct. 5 – Nov. 27, and again Feb. 1 – March 31, 2021.

To register visit at www.saintjosephsymphony.org. The deadline for the first session is Sept. 25. Free downloadable cross-curricular materials are available to supplement the recorded program.

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