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No Longer “Trapped Like Rats,” the DPO Welcomes Families Back for A Haunting Halloween Bash with PhilharMonster: It’s Alive!

DAYTON, OH (September 21, 2021) – On Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 3 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO), under the direction of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will present the first concert in the 2021–2022 Family Series, PhilharMonster: It’s Alive!

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a family trip downtown for PhilharMonster, and the Dayton Philharmonic is thrilled to welcome families back to the Schuster Center for this much-anticipated seasonal delight. Maestro Neal Gittleman has once again combed through his music archives for the spookiest-sounding tunes, which are not only fun for young people but also introduce them to the excitement and wonders of the world of classical music.

As is the costume custom, everyone is encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween finest. Even some of the orchestra members will be showing off their costume creativity! And Maestro Gittleman is thrilled to be returning to the stage dressed as…..well, even we don’t know how he plans to arrive. In past years, he has taken the stage as SpongeBob Square Pants, George Washington, Princess Leia, Tom Cruise/Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible, Yoda, and in 2019, for our last PhilharMonster Concert before the pandemic, he arrived as a conductor—a train conductor that is! This year, as always, his costume choice is Top Secret—you’ll have to be there in person to see for yourselves!

Maestro Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic open this year’s PhilharMonster party with Shostakovich’s enthusiastic Festive Overture, which will celebrate the live-in-concert return of the DPAA Family Series. Then, it’s the first movement from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, with perhaps the most recognizable initial four notes in the entire classical repertoire. Neal and the DPO then perform Saint-Saëns’s spooky “Dance Macabre,” which has become somewhat of a Halloween anthem.

Richard Meyer’s “Rosin-Eating Zombies from Outer Space” follows, as mayhem and mischief ensue and audience members are warned to prepare for the ear-piercing screams that punctuate this piece. Then, it’s Berlioz’s delightful “Minuet of the Will-o’-the-Wisps,” with its gentle and playful musical surprises. The DPO then gives the world premiere performance of “Trapped Like Rats,” a brand-new piece by contemporary American composer Michael Schelle written specifically for this Dayton Philharmonic PhilharMonster Concert. As you might guess from the title, the idea came to Schelle while he was shut in at home last year during COVID.

Next, the DPO presents Prokofiev’s beloved symphonic fairy tale “Peter and the Wolf.” Christine Brunner, professional actor, model, and voiceover artist based in Dayton, joins the DPO to narrate this wonderful work that has been introducing young audiences to musical instruments of the orchestra since 1936. The concert ends with Sousa’s rousing march “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The DPO welcomes all of Dayton, the young and the young-at-heart, for the Halloween bash of the season!

Due to COVID-19, the DPO is unable to present its typical pre-concert activities in the Wintergarden. However, all young audience members are encouraged to pick up one of the grab-and-go craft and coloring activities which will be available in the lobby before the concert.

 Safety Protocols
The DPAA is excited to welcome audiences back to the 2021–2022 Season. The health and safety of patrons, performers, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Beginning October 1, 2021, in partnership with DPAA’s venue partner Dayton Live, the following new health and safety protocols will be in place at all performances and events until further notice:

  • Vaccination – Proof of vaccination (vaccination card or a photo of card on phone), along with a valid ID, must be presented by all attendees.
  • Testing – If you have not been fully vaccinated for any reason, you must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test (within 72 hours) or a negative rapid antigen test (within 24 hours) of performance.
  • Masks – Masks will be required for all patrons over the age of 2 during entire visit while attending a DPAA performance or event. Mask must cover both nose and mouth.
  • Age Restrictions – Children under the age of 12 are exempt from providing proof of a COVID test in order to attend.

Tickets for PhilharMonster are $26 for adults and $18 for children and are available at the box office at (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org.  Senior, teacher and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the greater Dayton community, with a mission to be the community’s indispensable source for traditional, diverse and innovative experiences in ballet, opera, and orchestral music. The vision of the DPAA is to transform lives through the power of music and dance. The DPAA offers a wide variety of performance and education programs, setting a new standard for artistic excellence. DPAA performances reach an audience of more than 90,000 people annually, and their rich arts education programming serves over 60,000 schoolchildren in 150 schools in the Miami Valley. These performances and education initiatives are made possible in part through major support provided by the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the National Endowment for the Arts.