January 6, 2016

Win Tickets To The Next Omaha Symphony Family Show

The Omaha Symphony’s next concert in its Family Series takes kids to a galaxy far, far away…and perhaps to a rodeo. In “Places to Go & Things To See: Adventures in Music With Thomas Wilkins,” conductor Thomas Wilkins and the talented orchestra will take listeners on a journey that’s only limited by your imagination.


The more recognizable songs you’ll hear at the show include music from “Star Wars,” Copland’s Buckaroo Holiday from “Rodeo” and Finale from Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” “Places to Go & Things To See” is Sunday, Jan. 17.

What to expect at a Family Series show

Kids check out the instrument petting zoo before a performance in the Omaha Symphony's Family Series. Photo courtesy Omaha Symphony

Kids check out the instrument petting zoo before a performance in the Omaha Symphony’s Family Series. Photo courtesy Omaha Symphony

I’ve written about Omaha Symphony’s Family Series extensively because I think it’s a great way to introduce classical music to children of any age (we started taking our youngest when she was a toddler). They continue to invite me and my family to attend concerts and we’ve never been disappointed.

Concerts in the Omaha Symphony’s Family Series are held at a kid-friendly time and for a kid-friendly length of time (about an hour). And, they typically involve some sort of element that ropes your kids in. Sometimes, it’s a special guest (person or animal), others have included video or silly costumes. Conductors make a huge effort to interact with the audience at these shows.

Signs direct you where to go for the lobby activities held before each Omaha Symphony Family Series show.

Signs direct you where to go for the lobby activities held before each Omaha Symphony Family Series show.

Let’s not forget about the pre-show activities. You’ll want to arrive early so your kids can try out an instrument in the instrument petting zoo and make their own instrument to play with maestro at the concert.

What’s so special about this one?

Symphony new logo

Once a year, Wilkins conducts an Omaha Symphony Family Series show, and this is the one. He usually the conductor at the MasterWorks program, which is just a tad less playful than these kid-centric shows, don’t you think?

Wilkins is, however, a pro at children’s and youth programs: He holds the Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He conducts the majority of their family concerts.

This show will be the first time I’ve seen him conduct. I think we’re in for a treat at the show!


If you go

“Places to Go & Things To See: Adventures in Music With Thomas Wilkins”

When: Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 p.m. (pre-show activities are held in the lobby)

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $12

Purchase tickets here.



The Omaha Symphony wants one lucky winner to bring the family along to “Places to Go & Things To See: Adventures in Music With Thomas Wilkins” on Jan. 17! I’m giving away a family four-pack of tickets to the show!

It’s easy to enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Deadline to enter is Sunday, Jan. 10, 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: The Omaha Symphony is providing the tickets for the giveaway. I’m being provided complimentary tickets to attend the performance with my family in exchange for telling you about it. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 9, 2015

Omaha Symphony’s Christmas Celebration + Giveaway

You’ve heard of the Omaha Symphony’s Christmas show, right? It’s quite possibly the most anticipated show in the Omaha Symphony season – every year! This year, the “Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration” will run for 10 performances this Saturday through Dec. 20 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Omaha Symphony Christmas  Celebration

I’m bringing the kids to one of the shows for the first time! They’ve done really well at the Family Series concerts, so we’re taking it up another step for an all-out full evening performance. This isn’t any run-of-the-mill, ordinary concert, though.

Along with the 68-piece orchestra, there will be Broadway singers and dancers, the famous dancing Santas, falling snow, a cute dog or two, and, wait for it…. flying reindeer. My kids are going to love it.

Conducted by Resident Conductor Ernest Richardson, each performance will feature a carol sing-along, the show-stopping “O Holy Night,” and “Sleigh Ride” performed with the help of pint-sized audience members. New sequences include a “Downton Abbey”-style Christmas set in England circa 1919, which will feature elegant moments in a family’s celebration. In another highlight, a young boy searches for the magic of Christmas with his dog, while Santa seeks a child who still believes in the power of Christmas. This third story in the symphony’s recent “North Pole Trilogy” showcases the work of New York City puppeteer Eric Novak, who adds a polar bear this year to the symphony’s stable of handcrafted reindeer.

I can just picture my kids’ reactions to all of this, can’t you?


If you go

“Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration”

When: Dec. 12-20; performances are Saturday, Dec. 12, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 13, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 20, 2 and 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Tickets: Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased here. Student Rush tickets are $10 each and are available with a valid student ID starting one hour prior to the concert (may purcahse up to two Student Rush tickets).

Tip: Pre-concert entertainment will take place in the lobbies prior to each performance, including the River City Ringers and the Immanuel Chime Choir, Nagosky’s violin students, the Heartland Youth Ballet, and reindeer from Kringle Stables outside in the Holland Center courtyard.

Tip 2: You can bring a non-perishable food item to the Holland Center during to the show for the Food Bank for the Heartland to support ConAgra Foods’ Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.



One reader is going to win a family 4-pack of tickets to the Friday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. performance of “Christmas Celebration”! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Must be 18 or older to enter. Not transferrable to another date or time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary tickets by Omaha Symphony to “Christmas Celebration” in exchange for promoting the performances. All opinions expressed are mine. Giveaway tickets are provided by Omaha Symphony.

October 6, 2015

2015 ‘Symphony Spooktacular’ + Giveaway

The Omaha Symphony’s annual “Symphony Spooktacular” is officially my family’s kick off to Halloween each year. Held about a week or so before Halloween , it’s a kid-friendly concert with pre-show activities (such as my kids’ favorite, instrument petting zoo) and orchestra members dressed in goofy costumes.

It’s about an hour-long concert – the perfect length – and once it’s over, kids trick-or-treat in the lobby.

Now how’s that for a symphony outing?

We all enjoy it. The kids get to dress up. We all get to hear good music. It’s a tradition now.

Symphony Spooktacular Logo copy

The 2015 “Symphony Spooktacular” is Sunday, Oct. 25, at the kid-friendly time of 2 p.m.

If you want to go this year, read on for a special giveaway!


What can you expect this year?

Costume contest among the musicians. This is a fun one. You kinda expect professional musicians to be serious, but at this concert (at all family concerts, actually), they let loose and have some fun. My favorites are always the group costumes.

Special guests. In past shows, we saw martial arts students perform, a magician, “Star Wars” characters and more!

Surprises. There’s always a surprise.


If you go

“Symphony Spooktacular”

When: Sunday, Oct. 25, 2 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $12 (everyone must have a ticket). Get your tickets here

Tip: Seats are general admission, so get there early to snag good seats, then go explore the pre-show activities.



Symphony Spook giveaway


One lucky Oh My! Omaha reader will win a family four-pack of tickets to Omaha Symphony’s “Symphony Spooktacular”! There are three chances to enter:

1. Leave a comment: Tell me what would be the funniest group costume of 2015. What would your family dress up as?

2. Share it on Facebook: Share this post on Facebook. Here’s an example of what you could writer: Enter to win a family four-pack to the Omaha Symphony’s “Symphony Spooktacular”! http://wp.me/p3qlLN-1IV. Once you share it, come back here and post a comment that you did and share the link. Due to privacy settings, I probably won’t be able to see your post, but I trust you guys. Honor system.

3. Share it on Twitter. Tweet this: Enter to win tickets to @omahasymphony Symphony Spootacular via @ohmyomaha http://wp.me/p3qlLN-1IV. Come back here and leave a comment with a link to the tweet.

Please make separate comments so it’s easier for me to track each entry!

Thanks and good luck!

The nitty gritty: Giveaway ends Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner will be randomly drawn using Random.org. Winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway, and will have 48 hours to respond to receive details on how to get the tickets.


Disclaimer: Thanks to the Omaha Symphony for providing the family four-pack of tickets for this giveaway. The Omaha Symphony also provided a complimentary four-pack of tickets for my family to attend the “Symphony Spooktacular” as well.  

March 2, 2015

Looking Forward To Omaha Symphony’s 2015-16 Season

Even if you don’t consider yourself a classical music lover, there are quite a few shows in the Omaha Symphony 2015-2016 season you’ll like. I promise.


I attended the season announcement event last week and, you guys, there is quite a bit for Omaha families! I’m pretty excited. There are also several shows for the mainstream crowd (those who swear they don’t like classical) that will make for a great date night.


Here are my favorites:

For families

Every movie in the Family Series is listed below, and I added a few from other series that may appeal to a slightly older kid.

Symphony Family Series Collage

Symphony Spooktacular – Oct. 25. Always a favorite in my family, kids and musicians dress in costume for this one.

The Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Spectacular – Dec. 12-20. They expanded this to two weeks due to its growing popularity. If you love all things Christmas and a good dose of Broadway, this is for you.

Places to Go & Things to See! – Jan. 17, 2016. This one’s going to be a high-energy journey wil songs from “Star Wars” and Copland’s “Rodeo” and many more.

Call of the Wild – Feb. 21, 2016. This Family Series show’s going to have video accompanying it – always a fun addition to any show.

Peter and the Wolf – April 24, 2016. This is what I think of when I think of classical music for kids, actually. This production will have dance along with the storytelling and live music.

Superheroes! – May 28, 2016. Hear music from “Spider-Man,” “Superman,” “Batman,” “X-Men” and many more movie greats.


Date night

Pretty much, any show in the Pops, Symphony Rocks and Movie series will make a fine night out. Here are some of my favorites among the bunch.

Symphony date

The Best of Sinatra with Clint Holmes – Oct. 3 and 4. You love Ol’ Blue Eyes? Go old school and see this Vegas crooner backed by a grand orchestra.

Star TrekNov. 28. Watch the entire 2009 J.J. Abrahms’ film while a full symphony orchestra plays the score live.

A Celebration of Spielberg & Williams – Feb. 13, 2016. If you loved watching films like “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” you’ll dig hearing the memorable scores from the movies.

The Way You Look Tonight: Romantic Music of Gershwin, Porter and Kern – April 2 and 3, 2016. This screams date night, right? Broadway stars and chorus, backed by the orchestra, will perform timeless songs like “Embraceable You” at this show.

Latin Pop Revolution – April 9, 2016. I’m a geek for Latin music. Loves me some Sérgio Mendes.

The Music of Whitney Houston – May 7, 2016. Hear Rashidra Scott perform faithful renditions of “Saving All My Love” and “I Will Always Love You” while backed by a full orchestra. I can see Mr. Wonderful rolling his eyes with this one, but I know a lot of you out there will love it.


Things to note:

– The Omaha Symphony does a gazilian shows a year (my rough estimate). The full season will be on Omaha Symphony website soon.

– Family Series shows are always at 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Holland Center, with pre-show activities like an instrument petting zoo. You can go to all four concerts in the series for $37 per person.


Your turn: What show in the season are you excited to see?

February 2, 2015

Thomas’s Adventures In Music Giveaway

The Omaha Symphony has another show coming up in its Family Series. How many of you got to go to “Symphonic Space Odyssey”?


Mooch tests out a violin at the Omaha Symphony instrument petting zoo .

Mooch tests out a violin at the Omaha Symphony instrument petting zoo before the start of the “Symphonic Space Odyssey.”


If you’re not familiar with the series, read my review of one of the previous shows here.

The next show in series is “Thomas’s Adventures in Music” on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m. at the Holland Center. This one is special, since Thomas Wilkins will be conducting. I hear he’s a lot of fun!

The show will feature a narrator, Dave Wingert, and Omaha Symphony’s  tuba player, Craig Fuller. The music is going to be a lot of familiar classical pieces, including “Smetana’s Dance of the Comediennes” from “The Bartered Bride” and the “William Tell Overture.” Some slightly more familiar pieces are John Williams’s “Superman March” and “Tubby the Tuba.”

As always, there will be lobby activities that you want to show up early for!

Symphony signs


If you go

“Thomas’s Adventures in Music”

When: Sunday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St

Tickets are $12 each, general admission. Get tickets 


So, hey, you want to go?




Omaha Symphony has teamed up with me to give away a family four-pack of tickets! It’s easy to enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Giveaway ends Sunday, Feb. 15, at 11:59 p.m. One name will be randomly drawn and contacted within 48 hours via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Omaha Symphony provided tickets for this giveaway. I was not compensated for this post, I’m just a big fan of the OS Family Series! 

December 29, 2014

Omaha Symphony’s “Symphonic Space Odyssey” Giveaway

I was not paid to write this post on behalf of the Omaha Symphony – I just really love their Family Series. Omaha Symphony provided the tickets for the giveaway.


For the uninitiated, the Omaha Symphony has a series of kid-friendly shows called the Family Series. They’re performances at a kid-friendly time (2 p.m.), at a kid-friendly duration (about an hour), with a kid-friendly atmosphere (no shame in getting the squirmies here or the having a can’t-whisper kid).


Symphony new logo


I’m a fan – I’ve written about it a few times including the annual “Symphony Spooktacular” and “Carnival of Animals,” featuring, what else?, lots of live animals. They’re always engaging, even for my preschoolers (it was a little tougher when Mooch was under 3).

The next show in the Omaha Symphony’s Family Series is “Symphonic Space Odyssey” on Jan. 18 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.



For this unique production, they brought in Nebraska’s very own hero, NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson. The show will explore new galaxies in a visual and musical journey – that’s right, visual. This performance has larger-than-life visuals from NASA.


If you go

When: Sunday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. (Lobby opens at 1:15 p.m. – arrive early for the pre-show lobby activities, including the instrument petting zoo!)

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, Kiewit Hall, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: General admission is $12.





Win symphonic space

The Omaha Symphony has teamed up with me to give one lucky winner a family four-pack of tickets! It’s super easy to enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Giveaway ends Sunday, Jan. 11, at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway