Classics for Kids

The Howland Chamber Music Circle and the Howland Cultural Center
co-present performances for children throughout the season.
These include our popular Instrument Petting Zoo and performances by leading artists.

All concerts take place at the Howland Cultural Center unless otherwise noted.
Times vary and are listed with each event.

These concerts are funded, in part, by:

The Ann and Abe Effron Donor Advised Fund of the 
Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley


The Hudson Valley Credit Union

Hudson Valley Credit Union


Sunday, April 28, 2024 @ 4:00 PM
Howland Cultural Center

Hansel and Gretel, an Opera Fantasy

Step into a world of enchantment with our abridged family-friendly performance of the beloved opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

Follow the brave siblings on their journey through a magical forest, where they encounter whimsical creatures and face a wicked witch.

Filled with captivating music and heartwarming moments, this opera adventure is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Join us for a magical experience you won’t soon forget!

Sung by a cast including local Beacon artists and members of the Met Chorus Artists.

Lianne Coble-Dispensa, soprano
Rachel Hall, soprano
Sara Heaton, soprano
Tyler Simpson, bass-baritone
Julia Chou, pianist

Tickets: $15 adults / children FREE

All ages are welcome.


Friday, February 9, 2024
5:30 PM
Howland Cultural Center

“The Kid”, Charlie Chaplin’s Classic Silent Film

Come watch Charlie Chaplin’s classic silent film, “The Kid,” accompanied with LIVE MUSIC!

Performed by pianist Tomomi Sato.

Friday, February 9, 2024 @ 5:30 PM

Howland Cultural Center, Beacon, NY

Tickets: $15 adults / children FREE

All ages are welcome, but it might be most appropriate for ages 6 and older.

Classics for Kids: Peter and the Wolf
Pedro y el Lobo

Sunday, October 1, 2023
1:00—2:00 PM
Howland Cultural Center

“Peter and the Wolf”, by Sergei Prokofiev

Come hear the classic tale of “Peter and the Wolf” with the music of Sergei Prokofiev.

Performed by Sylvan Winds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn) with narration in both Spanish and English by Jesus Velasquez.

“Peter and the Wolf” introduces children to each of the instruments by using musical themes to represent each of the characters in this classic children’s tale.

Sunday, October 1, 2023 @ 1:00 PM

Howland Cultural Center, Beacon, NY

Tickets: $15 adults / children FREE

Jessica Kelly, flute
Kathy Halvorson, oboe
Nuno Antunes, clarinet
Gina Cuffari, bassoon
Eric Huckins, horn
Jesus Velasquez, narrator


Ugros from Ancient Hungarian Dances  — Ferenc Farkas (1838-1875)

Who is Sylvia  —  Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Rigaudon from Tombeau de Couperin  —  Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Menuet from Quintet, Op 43 —  Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)

Variations from Quartet No. 6 —  Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)

GAME:   Who’s playing the Theme? —  Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)

Peter & the Wolf  —  Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Sunday, September 10, 2023
11:00—12:00 PM
Howland Cultural Center

Instrument Petting Zoo and Concert

At our Instrument Petting Zoo you’ll see various string and wind instruments performed by local musicians.

Children will then have an opportunity to play the instruments themselves!

Instruments are generously provided by Music and Arts, Milton, NY. Music & Arts is on a mission to connect people of all ages and walks of life with the power of music.

This is a co-production with the Howland Cultural Center.

Please reserve your seats in advance with the button below.

Monday, May 29, 2023 (Rain Date 6/3)
3:00—4:00 PM
Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, Beacon, NY

The First Movement

Join us as the Beacon String Quartet joins forces with former dancers of the Mark Morris Dance Group, Aaron Loux and Laurel Lynch, to help children and families move to music. Compass Arts dance teacher (and former Mark Morris dancer), Chelsea Acree will lead the festivities, teaching simple choreography and free improvisational dancing.

Dance in response to what you hear!

This family event is presented by the Howland Chamber Music Circle and the Howland Cultural Center.

Everyone is FREE

Sunday, April 30, 2023
1:00—2:00 PM

WindSync performs “Interstellar Cinderella”

$15/adults, children FREE


Meet the five wind instruments of the orchestra when WindSync brings to life Deborah Underwood’s “Interstellar Cinderella” (published by Chronicle Books).

This family event is presented by the Howland Chamber Music Circle, and the Howland Cultural Center.

Program subject to change.

Frederic Chiu

Sunday, January 15, 2023
1:00—2:00 PM

“Heart and Soul: Debussy vs. Prokofiev,” with pianist Frederic Chiu

$15/adults, children FREE


Frederic Chiu will present his Classical Smackdown, “Heart and Soul: Debussy vs. Prokofiev”

Frederic Chiu’s Classical Smackdown program is a series of interactive classical piano programs that encourages discussion and participation of the audience. Each program presents the works of two composers in multiple “Rounds” where musical selections and stage commentary highlight a particular contrast or comparison between the two.

Audience members are given a detached ballot in the program, which they fill out and deposit upon exiting the concert. Each Round ends with audience members voting for their favorite composer in that Round. In addition, at the end of the concert, each audience member also votes for their favorite composer across the entire program. Through the simple act of voting, audiences listen and engage in a more personal way that creates a new live concert experience. The ballot is secret, but hearty discussions often keep audiences in their seats well after the end of the applause!

The results of the voting are announced within 24 hours following the event. Complete results for all Classical Smackdown concerts, including breakdowns by various demographics and audience comments, are made available on the website

This family event is presented by the Howland Chamber Music Circle, and the Howland Cultural Center.