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TFO offers 20 free Instrument Petting Zoos for summer

Might not sound like Mozart – yet! – but kids can feel like him when they pick up a violin for the first time. This summer they can give it a try as The Florida Orchestra teams up with public libraries and other organizations to greatly expand its free Instrument Petting Zoos. For the first time, TFO will offer 20 events June through August mostly in Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

Children can try as many instruments as they want at the popular Instrument Petting Zoos, with TFO staffers and volunteers on hand to help. Sponsored by TFO’s North Suncoast Associates, the zoos include violin, cello, trombone, trumpet, flute, various percussion and more.

The zoos are offered in conjunction with summer reading programs at the libraries and are a great way for TFO to continue to serve kids during the off-season and encourage them to explore their own musicality.

The Instrument Petting Zoo also will be a part of TFO’s new full-orchestra Family Concerts debuting in the fall. The one-hour concerts, titled One Giant Leap, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with live music and stunning visuals from NASA. The program includes selections from Holst’s The Planets, John Williams’ E.T., and much more. Performances are geared for families with children ages 6-12 and are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Straz Center in Tampa at 2 pm, and Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg at 2 pm. General admission tickets for kids and adults will be $8 in advance, $10 day of show. They go on sale Aug. 12.

TFO’s Instrument Petting Zoo Schedule for Summer 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 10 am: Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City

Tuesday, June 11, 2 pm: New River Branch Library, 34043 SR 54, Wesley Chapel

Thursday, June 13, 2 pm: Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico

Saturday, June 15, 4:30 pm: Uptown Music Festival, UACDC, 14013 N 22nd St., Tampa

Saturday, June 22, 10 am: Healthy Living Community event at SouthShore Community Resource Center, 201 14th Ave. SE, Ruskin

Wednesday, July 10, 2 pm: Brandon Regional Library, 619 Vonderburg Drive, Brandon

Thursday, July 18, 10 am: Regency Park Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey

Thursday, July 18, 2 pm: Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson

Saturday, July 20, 10 am: Healthy Living Community event at Plant City Community Resource Center, 307 N Michigan Ave., Plant City

Wednesday, July 24, 2 pm: Arthenia L. Joyner University Area Community Library, 13619 N 22nd St., Tampa

Tuesday, July 30, 11 am: Lutz Branch Library, 101 W Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz

Wednesday, July 31, 11 am: South Holiday Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday

Wednesday, July 31, 2 pm: Centennial Park Library, 5740 Moog Road, Holiday

Saturday, August 3, 2 pm: Land O’Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes

Saturday, August 17, 10 am: Healthy Living Community event at Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center, 3402 N 22nd St., Tampa

TFO also will provide the Instrument Petting Zoo at private camps at the Tampa Bay History Center, Metro Youth Camp, Jewish Community Camp in Clearwater, and Camp Banyan in Clearwater.

The Florida Orchestra’s new season opens in September and celebrates 250 years of Beethoven and beyond, including Beethoven’s Fifth, music of The Beatles, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Holiday Pops, and much more. Season tickets are on sale now; single tickets are available Aug. 12.

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