Kids can go to the symphony for free

Happy Wednesday, mamas! Have you ever taken your kids to a symphony performance? It’s an experience every kid should have, and now your kids can see the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) for free!

Tickets for kids (under 18) who are attending one of the mainstage concerts at the Walton Arts Center are free with the purchase of an accompanying adult ticket. (Quantities are limited so pounce on this opportunity asap.)

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas will launch its 2022-23 Season at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville when it takes the stage this Saturday, October 29, 2022. SoNA is led by Music Director Paul Haas. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

The performance is fittingly titled Imagine Big, presenting Jessica Meyer’s Go BIG or Go HOME, paired with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 featuring cellist Julian Schwarz, and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Connecting all these works is a spirit of ambition, imagination, and contagious energy that speaks to SoNA’s vibrant future and biggest season yet.

Jessica Meyer is swiftly becoming one of the most-performed orchestral composers of her generation, and with good reason. Her Go BIG or Go HOME is an orchestral tour de force and it’s only a matter of time before she becomes a household name.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 is a dark, witty, and brooding piece that erupts into incredible virtuoso fireworks, and Julian Schwarz is just the young cellist for it. Passionate and with to-die-for technique, he’s a perennial audience favorite and an exciting stage presence. (CLICK HERE for featured artist bio.)

Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which started out as a set of piano miniatures, is transformed here by Maurice Ravel’s orchestration into an enormous, colorful, iconic masterpiece, beloved by listeners everywhere.

“This season we ‘imagine big’ and present music that reflects our bold vision for our orchestra and the wide possibilities of orchestral music,” says SoNA Music Director Paul Haas. “We represent the past and present of our artform through time-honored works by Shostakovich and Mussorgsky, and so much more. We also show the powerful future of our artform through works by contemporary visionaries like Jessica Meyer, and through collaborations with guest artists like Julian Schwarz that also point to our artform’s bright future.”

Ticket holders to Imagine Big are also invited to come early at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-show Creative Conversation with SoNA Music Director Paul Haas and Principal Tuba Ryan Robinson, to hear insights into the evening’s program and exclusive details on the inspirations and lives of the artists who make the music come to life.

Single tickets to Imagine Big are $36, $47, or $60, based on seating preferences. Discount student tickets are available with a student photo I.D. Tickets for youth under 18 are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limited quantities). In addition to single tickets, season subscriptions are also available. Subscription package prices range from $195 to $320, based on seating preferences, and include all six mainstage concerts of the season (excluding The Snowman: A Family Concert). Student subscriptions start at $50 with valid I.D. Imagine Big is generously sponsored by Dr. Alan & Sherri Lamb and Mary & Dr. George Benjamin.

To secure subscriber seats or purchase single tickets, patrons can visit, or call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600.

Following the Imagine Big season opener, audiences can celebrate the magic and beauty of the holidays with two performances of A Very SoNA Christmas on Dec. 10 featuring the SoNA Singers and UA Inspirational Chorale, followed by The Snowman: A Family Concert on Dec. 11 featuring a special screening of the runaway hit film (The Snowman) complete with live orchestral soundtrack.

Then on Jan. 7, 2023, SoNA starts the New Year with Mother and Child, a cathartic, emotional program that touches a core human experience – each piece evokes a love that exists across time, between a mother and her child. On March 11, 2023, the season continues with New Canons, a concert featuring new works that will be presented on SoNA’s upcoming album release. In April, SoNA presents two concerts: On April 8, 2023, Battle of the Bands brings SoNA and the Fayetteville Jazz Collective together for an evening of genre-defying music that will be enjoyed by a wide variety of music lovers. And on April 29, 2023, the season wraps with Evoking Folklore featuring captivating storytelling of folklore from cultures near and far.

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