Bring the kids to Beethoven: Shepherd School to host annual Family Concert Jan. 26

Beethoven’s “Leonore Overture No. 3” will be the centerpiece of the annual Family Concert presented by Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and performed by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra Jan. 26 in Alice Pratt Brown Hall. Attendees of the family-friendly event will be able to meet members of the orchestra and see and hear their instruments up close.

Family concert photoThe annual event, hosted by the Shepherd Society, will feature an instrument demonstration in Alice Pratt Brown Hall’s Grand Foyer at 10:30 a.m., followed by the concert at 11 a.m. in Stude Concert Hall. “Leonore Overture No. 3” is one of four overtures Beethoven wrote for his only opera, “Fidelio.”

The orchestra will be under the direction of Larry Rachleff, the Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Orchestral Conducting. Rachel Buchman, head of the Young Children’s Division of the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program, will serve as narrator for the performance.

The story involves Florestan, an inmate falsely imprisoned in a Spanish jail by Don Pizarro, the evil governor of the prison. Florestan’s wife Leonore must disguise herself as Fidelio, a male prison guard, to free her husband.

“Imagine a piece of music that tells a dramatic story without words,” Buchman said. “Beethoven’s ‘Leonore Overture No. 3’ is just that, a story of bravery and love told in music. Together we will explore the inspiring story while we get to know the instruments of the orchestra through this musical gem from the master, Ludwig van Beethoven.”

This event is free and open to the public and is recommended for ages 6 and older. No tickets are required. For the best seating, patrons are encouraged to arrive early.

For more information on the event, visit

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.