Laurie Berkner, one of the nation’s most beloved, popular and influential children’s musicians, will perform in Urbana this September — thanks to our friends at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
The Laurie Berkner Band will take the Krannert Center stage for a public concert on Saturday, September 17 at 10 a.m. The Laurie Berkner Band will also headline the KCPA’s Youth Series, an educational outreach program which brings the performing arts to students of many ages during school hours.
“Youth and family programming is an important part of our mission, and in recent years we’ve been working to strengthen and expand the opportunities for young people and families to experience great art at Krannert Center,” said Emily Laugesen, Community Engagement Liaison. “We love making it possible for children to connect with an artist they may have seen online or on TV, or whose music they may have heard in recordings, and discover a new way of experiencing her music in person. … For those who might be discovering it for the first time, a communal experience like this can create a really powerful experience.”
If you’re humming Victor Vito by now, we’re not apologizing. But for those of you who aren’t familiar with Berkner, here’s the scoop on why this is such a big deal:
USA Today calls Laurie, “The undisputed queen of kindie rock” and we tend to agree. She has been honored by both Parents’ Choice and National Parenting Publications and performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall. Features on Nick Jr.’s Move the Music Series, Jack’s Big Music Show, and Sprout’s Sunny Side Up Show made tunes like Victor Vito, Buzz Buzz, Under a Shady Tree, and Rocketship Run popular among the preschool set and their parents – for over a decade. Nowadays you can find her on a popular SiriusXM segment, as well.
“We’ve known for years that The Laurie Berkner Band has a strong fan base here, so we’re excited that the details finally came together to include her on the new season line-up,” said Laugesen. “Part of making that happen (and keeping it affordable) is through the support of our campus and community and we’re sure thankful for that!”
Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait to secure tickets for the Saturday, September 17 family performance. They will go on sale August 13 at 10 a.m. online, in person at the Ticket Office, or by calling 217.333.6280. Tickets will be $15 for adults, $10 for UI Students, and $5 for youth.
School groups (including home schooling families) can order tickets for the Friday, September 16 Youth Series performance starting Wednesday, May 4 at 4 p.m. at the Youth Series Season Preview or online at KrannertCenter.com. For the Youth Series, KCPA allocates tickets based on a combination of factors so that they can distribute access to the program to school groups throughout central Illinois.
“There is something incredibly special about coming together to experience a live performance by a dynamic, top-notch artist like Laurie. It’s life-affirming in many ways and a joyful experience to witness,” Laugesen said
In addition to The Laurie Berkner Band, the KCPA Youth Series has an incredible lineup of artists to share with the school community next season. Background information about the shows, fun activities, and thoughtful projects are provided before each performance as a way to make these experiences fit directly into work already underway in the classroom. Tickets may be purchased by any public, private, or home school.
“We’ll offer an immersive theatre experience with Compagnia TPO in their production Farfalle (Butterflies), an imaginative staging of Love That Dog (by Newbery-winning author Sharon Creech) by the Dutch theatre company Theatergroep Kwatta, and the Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China,” said Bridget Lee-Calfas, Advertising and Publicity Director. “Step Afrika! will return to Krannert Center with an exciting new production, The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence. Their Youth Series performance will feature excerpts from this work along with other signature Step Afrika! works.
Red Sky Performance brings Mistatim, a contemporary story of friendship and intercultural reconciliation. We’re also excited to present Black Violin, a band that melds classical repertoire with a hip hop sensibility.”
For more information on the Youth Series at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, visit http://www.youth.krannertcenter.com/performances.aspx.