Looking for a fun, free and educational Halloween celebration that people of all ages will enjoy? Join the Hays Symphony Orchestra at the upcoming Halloween Children’s Concert at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Fort Hays State University’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

This year’s program is titled “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” and features a delightful combination of music, story and theatre.

The story begins when young Christoph writes to his uncle about a wild-haired, cranky stranger who has moved into the apartment upstairs. Who could it be? None other than Ludwig van Beethoven! Christoph comes to understand the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music and the torment of his deafness.

Isaac Bloom, son of Kael and Sarah Bloom, and Everett Roberts, Hays Community Theatre, will play the roles of Christoph and Uncle Kurt with Meredith Cory, Hays Community Theater, directing.

The orchestra, under the direction of Brian Buckstead, assistant professor of music and theater at FHSU, will perform alongside these actors with excerpts from some of Beethoven’s best-known works.

While the program is especially designed for kids, the beauty of the music and the charm of the story are appropriate for all ages.

Pre-concert activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will include an instrument petting zoo, drum circle, arts and crafts, story time with the Hays Public Library and a How We Hear presentation by the FHSU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The instrument petting zoo gives children the opportunity to play string, wind and brass instruments with the assistance of a music educator in the community.

Children may also participate in group lessons on the violin or cello led by Buckstead and Ben Cline, chair of the Department of Music and Theatre. Students who enroll in advance for the group lessons are assigned their own kid-sized instrument for the 20–minute lesson.

Participation is limited and advance registration for this activity is strongly encouraged. To register visit www.hayssymphony.org.

The pre-concert activities will conclude with a children’s costume march led by FHSU music students. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes to participate in the march.

The concert offers an extensive amount of educational exposure for all who attend. It provides children with the opportunity to have hands-on experience with a vast number of instruments and leave with a deeper appreciation of music.

A special thanks to the following supporters and organizations for making this event possible: Hays Symphony Guild; FHSU Department of Music and Theatre; Sandra Gottschalk; Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau; FHSU National Association of Music Educators; Sigma Alpha Iota; Hays Arts Council; Hays Community Theater; Hays Public Library; FHSU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; McDonalds of Hays; KC Strings; USD 489 music teachers; and numerous local musicians and actors.

Tickets for this free event may be reserved at www.hayssymphong.org.