Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Continues its Family Series with Anansi the Spider and the Moss Covered Rock

Griot storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston joins “theatriclowns” Mark Lohr and Tim Marrone

Baltimore, Md. (February 13, 2009) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will present Anansi the Spider and the Moss Covered Rock, narrated by griot storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston (pictured), on Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Alston will be joined by renowned “theatriclowns” Mark Lohr and Tim Marrone as they tell the West African folktale that depicts the story of a spider that tricks the other animals into doing his own work. Please see below for complete program information.

Storyteller, narrator and singer Charlotte Blake Alston, has performed stories and songs to universities, museums and performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada for years. Celebrated for her special ability to bring to life traditional and contemporary stories from the African-American oral tradition, Charlotte Blake Alston is the ideal choice to perform Anansi.

The BSO Family Fun Zone, added this season to all Saturday morning Family Concerts, will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Meyerhoff lobby. Children and their families can take advantage of numerous free, age-appropriate pre-concert activities, including Port Discovery Children’s Museum’s interactive World Rhythm Drum Circus, the Maryland Zoo’s ZOOmobile, an instrument petting zoo and face painting.

Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator
Charlotte Blake Alston is a storyteller, narrator and singer whose interest in literature, the oral tradition and the arts began in childhood when her father read to her the work of writers and poets and encouraged her to learn and recite the dialect poems of African American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. After 21 years of teaching from the preschool through graduate levels, she chose to devote more time to touring and performing.

Today, Ms. Alston breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from the African and African American oral and cultural traditions. Her solo performances are often enhanced with traditional instruments such as djembe, berimbau, nkoning, mbira, shekere or the 21-stringed kora. In 1999, she began studying the kora and the West African history-telling traditions of Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. Her teacher is the highly respected Senegalese griot (jali), Djimo Kouyate. Her repertoire is wide and programs are adapted to any age audience or grade level.

She brings her stories and songs to national and regional festivals, schools, universities, museums, libraries and performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada, as well as local and national radio and television. She is the first storyteller to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra on both their Children's and Youth concert series. Since 1994, she has been the host of "Sound All Around"; the orchestra's pre-school concert series and continues to appear as a guest host and narrator on family concerts. Charlotte also hosts "Carnegie Kids", Carnegie Hall's Preschool concert series and has been a featured artist on the Carnegie Hall Family Concert Series in NY since 1996. She has been a featured teller at The National Storytelling Festival, The National Festival of Black Storytelling, and at regional festivals throughout North America. She has been a featured artist at both the Presidential Inaugural Festivities in Washington, DC and the Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Children's Inaugural Celebrations in Harrisburg, PA.

COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION

Musical Adventures: Anansi the Spider and the Moss Covered Rock
For children ages 3-6 and their families
Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator
Mark Lohr and Tim Marrone, “theatriclowns”


Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Lobby opens at 10:00 a.m. for Family Fun Zone.

Tickets for this program range from $11 to $20 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000, 877.BSO.1444 or BSOmusic.org.

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