Arts and Entertainment

Auburn Symphony Chamber concert presents the work of Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky - Courtesy
Jack Prelutsky
— image credit: Courtesy

The Auburn Symphony Chamber presents "Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant" from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at St. Matthew Episcopal Church, 123 L St. NE, Auburn.

The concert features Seattle poet Jack Prelutsky, the first Children's Poet Laureate of the U.S., who narrates his award-winning book. He will be accompanied by five musicians playing Lucas Richman's original score.

Tickets are $17 adults; $10 students.

For tickets, call 253-887-7777 or visit

About Jack Prelutsky

Although Prelutsky is best known for his humorous and imaginative verse, his readers are now discovering how deeply music is entwined with his poetry. Prelutsky is more likely to appear on a concert stage than in a library or bookstore.

While Prelutsky has been making words rhyme for more than 45 years, his career began as a folk singer in coffeehouses and with uncertain aspirations of becoming an operatic tenor. By chance he took his first poems, descriptions of fanciful creatures, to Susan Hirschman, editor at Macmillan. Susan suggested that he write about real animals and with her encouragement, Jack's first book, "A Gopher In The Garden", was published in 1967.

Since then he has published more than 70 books of poetry.

In 2006, the Poetry Foundation designated Prelutsky as the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate.

Barbara Broderick of the San Diego Symphony initiated a project to give one of Prelutsky's books an orchestral interpretation. The symphony commissioned composer Lucas Richman, music director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, to transform "Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant" into a symphonic piece.

In 2009, the San Diego Symphony premiered "Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant" with Prelutsky as narrator. Lucas's lively and engaging musical portraits of the book's odd creatures entranced audiences both young and old. Due to the success of this premiere, and with the overwhelming support of the symphony's musicians and community, the San Diego Symphony decided to make the first recording of "Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant".

The timely publication of Jack's new verses to accompany Camille Saint-Saëns's "Carnival of the Animals" provided the symphony with a perfect pair of works to complete the programming.




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