Tag Archives: National Symphony Orchestra

NSO in Your Neighborhood Brings Free Music to Downtown & Penn Quarter

NSONeighborhood_Downtown_PennQuarter logo

The National Symphony Orchestra has brought back its wonderful NSO in Your Neighborhood initiative. From January 5-11, Downtown DC and Penn Quarter will be a hive of musical activity as the NSO presents a week’s worth of free events for the entire family.

The American Art Museum, International Spy Museum, MLK Library, community churches, local theatres, and more venues around the Downtown/Penn Quarter area will host a variety of presentations, including chamber music performances, orchestral concerts, and educational events.

The performances highlighted below will likely appeal to families with young children most, but just about all of the events can be appreciated by any age. You can view the complete schedule on the Kennedy Center website.

Saturday, January 9
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th & F Streets NW
All day & 7pm

There will be pop-up performances throughout the day, including the NSO Family Concert: Inspiration! at 2-3pm, plus instrument petting zoos. And the entire National Symphony Orchestra will perform a special evening concert in the Kogod Courtyard.

Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street NW
Master Class, 10:3am – 12:30pm

Audiences are invited to observe NSO musician Holly Hamilton (violin) leading a master class for Symphony Kids of the Prince George’s Philharmonic.

Sunday, January 10
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW
Artistic Exchange: Music and Spoken Word, 2-4pm

NSO musician Glenn Donnellan (violin) performs with spoken word artists from Words, Beats & Life and members of the Hip Hop Orchestra of UMD.

International Spy Museum , 800 F Street NW
Spy-themed music 3-4pm

NSO musicians Nurit Bar-Josef (concertmaster), Natasha Bogachek (violin), Eric deWaardt (viola), and James Lee (cello) perform an espionage-themed program for this family-friendly event. Patrons who attend the performance will also receive a coupon for $5 off the price of admission to visit the museum’s exhibits.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

“NSO in Your Neighborhood” Brings a Week of Free Programs to Capitol Hill


The National Symphony Orchestra is bringing back its NSO in Your Neighborhood initiative, this year to Capitol Hill. From January 7-13, the NSO will present a variety of activities, with an emphasis on chamber performances, education, and community engagement programs for audiences of all ages.

Union Station, public libraries, the Marine Barracks, coffee shops, and art centers on Capitol Hill will host everything from Shakespeare-inspired shows to violin ensembles to youth orchestra performances to instrument petting zoos to chamber music — and even more in between. And all of the events are free and open to the public.

The performances highlighted below are geared especially toward young audiences, but all of them can be appreciated by any age. You can view the complete schedule on the Kennedy Center website.

Viva Violins: From Baby Talk to Mozart

The violin grows up in the spotlight in this program which tells the tale of three little violins and how their mother teaches them to “sing.” Join violinists Elisabeth Adkins, Paula Akbar, Holly Hamilton, and Jane Bowyer Stewart as they grow the musical experience from sweet lullabies like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” all the way to breathtaking Bach. Immediately following the performance, young people will enjoy the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo,” a project of the Women’s Committee for the NSO.


Hands-on fun with instruments! Children (and their parents) have the chance to get up close and personal with the orchestral instruments they will see professionally played on stage. The musical instrument “petting zoo” is a project of the Women’s Committee for the NSO.


Led by NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl and featuring WUSA Channel 9’s Andrea Roane as host, the National Symphony performs two full “train-themed” concerts at Union Station.

10:30am–12:30pm | DC SOUTHEAST LIBRARY, 403 7TH ST., SE

Hands-on fun with instruments! Children (and their parents) have the chance to get up close and personal with the orchestral instruments they see professionally played on stage. The musical instrument “petting zoo” is a project of the Women’s Committee for the NSO.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Music, Weekdays, Weekend

Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival

The Kennedy Center is getting ready to launch a new season of performing arts, and they’re kicking it off with the 26th Annual Open House Arts Festival.  This Saturday, from 12pm – 7pm, guests can enjoy everything from live entertainment to a National Symphony Orchestra instrument petting zoo to a children’s book festival.

“Celebrate Mexico 2010,” is the theme of this years festival, a tribute to the country’s 200 years of independence and 100 years since the 1920 revolution.  Many of the performances will feature artists and traditions from Mexico, including Eugenia León, rock band El Gran Silencio, composer Eugenio Toussaint with the NSO, a Mexican ballet dance company, and more exciting acts. Guests can also catch performances by local artists, among them Rocknoceros, Nayas, and Richard Smallwood.

The Festival is free, though some events might require free tickets. For more information and the complete schedule of performances, see the Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival website.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Deal, Educational, Festival, Live Entertainment, Music, Weekend

Where to Play this Labor Day

Thank you, Hurricane Earl. Instead of dumping massive amounts of rain on us, the storm that has some evacuating down south is quietly passing us by, leaving a trail of cool air to follow. It’s going to make for a splendid Labor Day weekend. If your family is spending it in town and still making plans, here are some ways to take advantage of the weather and the extra day of relaxation.

The Big Dig
Great Country Farm’s Annual Pancake Breakfast and Potato Harvest is on Saturday and Sunday, September 4 & 5. Take the scenic drive out to the Blue Ridge Mountains early for all-you-can-eat pancakes topped with homemade fruit syrups, then hop on a hayride that will take you out to u-pick fields for a potato hunt. Breakfast is served from 9am – 12pm, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. The $10 admission (free for kids under 2) to the Big Dig also includes access to the rest of the farm’s attractions, including a cow train, mazes, barnyard petting area, pick your own fields, and more. Visit the website for more information and directions.

How ‘Bout Them Apples
If you want a farm experience without all the hoopla, and your family are fans of apples, head to Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD. They’ve just announced that Jonagold and Jonathan apples are ready for picking, plus they still have some peaches and tomatoes, too. Walk to close-in picking areas or ride a tractor to those further away. And if the kids like animals, stop by the barnyard area to see chickens, cows, and goats (look up to catch them crossing overhead on the goat walk). Bring a picnic lunch or grab a hotdog there. Admission to the farm is free; you just pay for produce. Homestead Farm is located about 20 miles from the city. Visit the website for directions.

Symphony Under the Stars
The annual Labor Day Capitol Concert will take place on Sunday at 8pm. Enjoy the music of the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Gates open to the public at 3:15pm. If you can’t make it to the evening show, catch the dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. This free event attracts a large audience, so get there early to get good seats.

Final Free Swim
DC Public Pools have already started closing for the season, and the few that are still open will close on September 6. If you and the kids want to take one last dip of the summer, find out which pools are still welcoming swimmers.

Walks in the Woods
How about some wilderness this weekend? The cooler temps will make for excellent hiking weather, and there are plenty of trails to hit with the kids, both close to the city (even in it) and beyond. For suggestions, check out this post from a few months back.

Labor Day Parades
For some holiday pageantry on Monday, September 6, head to Maryland—both Gaithersburg and Kensington celebrate with Labor Day parades. The 72-year tradition in Gaithersburg will include fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, and clowns in its procession through Olde Towne. More information can be found here. Kensington is hosting its 43rd Annual Labor Day Parade and Festival. Dance troupes, equestrian groups, fire trucks, circus perfomers will be part of the show making its way through town starting at 10am. The fun will continue afterward at a festival on Antique Row with live music, food vendors, crafts, and more. More details, including the parade route, are available here.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Cartoons & the Symphony

What’s better than an event that has something for both adults and kids to enjoy?  This Friday and Saturday, August 6-7, Wolf Trap presents “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” for two evenings of film and music.  The National Symphony Orchestra will provide live accompaniment as large screens play episodes of the cartoon world’s favorite rabbit.  Some of the cartoons will date back as far as the 1950’s, and episodes from “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” will be included as well.  Along with Bugs, look for Sylvester and Tweety, Pep Le Pew, and special guests Tom & Jerry.  Now the question is, which part is for adults, and which is for kids?

Ticket prices range from $20-$52, depending on seating (box, orchestra, lodge, or lawn).  For tickets to Friday’s show, go here.  For Saturday’s show, go here.  Both sows begin at 8:30pm.

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Filed under All ages, Live Entertainment, Music, Outdoor, Summer, Theatre, Weekend