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Youth Concerts


2025 CUSO Youth Concerts
At Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

“The Carnival of the Animals”

Tuesday, April 22, 2025 | 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, April 23, 2025 | 10:00 a.m.

Educators and students in grades 3–6 are invited to join the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stephen Alltop for an interactive, educational concert in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center. From fish to fossils, donkeys to kangaroos, “The Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns turns the orchestra into a marvelous zoo! Enjoy this humorous musical suite and the fun ways these many creatures come to life in orchestral instruments. Each concert is approximately 45 minutes.

SAINT-SAËNS: The Carnival of the Animals
1.    Introduction and Royal March of the Lions
2.   Rooster and Hens
3.   Donkeys
4.   The Tortoises
5.   The Elephant
6.   Kangaroos
7.   Aquarium
8.   Persons with Long Ears
9.   The Cuckoo
10. Birds
11.  Pianists
12. Fossils
13. The Swan
14. Finale

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerts, the 2025 “The Carnival of the Animals” concerts will be presented free of charge, and will be featured as part of the Krannert Center 2024/25 Youth Series events.

To register for the free concert, educators must complete the online ticket form on the Krannert Center website.


The 2025 CUSO Youth Concerts are produced in partnership with Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, with funding from The Guild of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the CUSO Youth Music Appreciation Endowment Fund, the Robeson Family Benefit Fund, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The CUSO Youth Concerts provide elementary school students in Champaign County a live symphonic musical experience in the Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. As many as 3,000 students attend these concerts each year, coming from communities throughout the region within a 50-mile radius. Participating teachers receive an Educator’s Guide and recordings for pre-concert study in the classroom to help enhance their students’ concert experience and musical education.

The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra first performed the Youth Concerts (known then as Young People’s Concerts and KinderKonzerts) in 1964. Early on, the concerts were in Foellinger Auditorium, but their popularity necessitated a move first to the Assembly Hall and then to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, where the performances have been held since 1975.

CUSO recognizes the importance of engaging future generations with classical music. The Youth Concerts are a critical part of CUSO’s mission and an opportunity we are proud to provide. We thank Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for their support of these wonderful concerts.