In prehistoric times, strange creatures walked the planet. They were the ancient ancestors of the instruments in the orchestra today. This month, audiences will have multiple opportunities to journey with Symphony of the Mountains into a time “When Instruments Roamed the Earth!®”

Filled with laughs, surprises and on-stage action, “When Instruments Roamed the Earth” is an all-original, multimedia story and music event offering a fun and entertaining all-ages introduction to the sounds, people and experience of a symphony orchestra concert.

SOTM will present the one-hour concerts at Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol on May 8 at 3 p.m. and at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts in Emory, Virginia, on May 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets for those shows are $30 for adults, with children and students admitted free.

In addition, SOTM will present free school and community concerts for over 1,000 students, including a public performance on May 9 at 7 p.m. in the C. Bascom Slemp Auditorium at Lee High School in Jonesville, Virginia. The Jonesville performance is part of the W. Campbell Edmonds Concert Series and is free and open to the public. There’ll be additional school performances on May 9 at 9:30 and 11 a.m. at the Paramount Center for the Arts, on May 10 at 9:30 a.m. at Union High School in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the McGlothlin Center.

Hear and see the hilarious “research” of paleo-musicologist, Sir Humphrey Treble-Clef, who believes modern instruments are the descendants of giant, dinosaur-like creatures.

Who knows if they exist only in this scientist’s hot, mysterious, swampy and unusual imagination or … if they are real?

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Actor Rick McVey will join SOTM in the role of Sir Humphrey Treble-Clef.

Most people are hesitant to believe a man who tried to prove that ancient humans made music by hitting themselves on the head with rocks. However, audiences of all ages will smile, laugh and be in awe of the symphonic interpretations of Sir Humphrey’s wild theories, featuring all the instruments of the symphony orchestra. Dinosaur fans will also enjoy music from the movie “Jurassic Park.”

The concert is created by the award-winning team of composer Bob Singleton and script and storywriter Stephen White. Singleton is a classically trained, Grammy-nominated and award-winning composer, producer and arranger. His musical works for kids include music for over 70 PBS episodes, more than 60 albums, an NBC network special and a sold-out Radio City Music Hall run. He served as the music director for the worldwide children’s phenomenon “Barney & Friends” for 10 years. White is an Emmy and Grammy-nominated writer, with years of experience writing for television, home videos, stage shows, children’s books and film. He was principal writer for “Barney & Friends” for 16 years.

SOTM consists of more than 70 professional musicians and is conducted by Cornelia Laemmli Orth. In addition to this month’s family concerts, the orchestra is also scheduled to present its “Eastman Celebration Concert: The Planets” on Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Toy F. Reid Employee Center Auditorium in Kingsport. Tickets for that event are $35 for adults. Free tickets are available for all Eastman employees and retirees, as well as children and students.

To learn more about SOTM or for event information, visit the website at symphonyofthemountains.org or call 423-392-8423.

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