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Bach's Literacy Series to Spotlight Carnival of Animals

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University is hosting its third annual Bach’s Literacy Series, showcasing the classical orchestra work of “The Carnival of Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns. This one-of-a-kind musical story hour will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 10a.m. and Monday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. in the Dixon Ministry Center Jeremiah Chapel. 

The performance will feature Carlos Elias, M.M., professor of music, and the Cedarville Orchestra.  Mark Spencer, D.M.A., associate professor of voice, will narrate with a set of poems by Ogden Nash. 

“’The Carnival of Animals’ is a wonderful selection to introduce children and families to classical music. Filled with musical humor and high spirit, this piece will be highly entertaining and enjoyable for the entire Cedarville community,” said Elias. 

The composition is considered Camille Saint-Saëns most popular work, written in February 1886. The musical suite includes 14 movements of music, each representing a different animal.  

Speaking to the style of the hour, Elias revealed, “The arrangement is a light-hearted piece which uses different parts of the orchestra and two pianos to portray the sounds of different animals, from roosters, to elephants, to kangaroos.”

Every registered family, classroom or group will get one hardbound copy of the “The Carnival of Animals” book by Jack Prelutsky. The book includes written poetry to complement the orchestration as well as illustrated scenes to visually accompany the orchestral piece. 

“The book pictorially follows each movement that the orchestra plays. There is an alternation of poetry and music, with the music always following a poem to depict a particular animal,” said Sandra Yang, Ph.D., associate professor of music history and the event’s coordinator. 

The Bach's Literacy events meet the state of Ohio music standards in critical and creative thinking as well as literacy by means of the cognitive and creative learning processes of perceiving, knowing, responding and reflecting. The performances are appropriate for all levels, K-12, and community families of all ages.
“Our desire to serve Christ by bringing music literacy to others inspired us to offer free events in the Bach's Literacy Series to all who are interested. We especially hope to serve the underserved in our community,” says Yang.
This is a free event sponsored by the Cedarville University department of music and worship, alumni relations, school of education and theater department. 

To register online for this event, go to

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 18 87, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.

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