Free Music/Storytelling Events for Families

Louisville Free Public Library and Louisville Orchestra
Collaborate to Bring Music and Reading to Families throughout Metro Louisville

The Louisville Free Public Library and the Louisville Orchestra are pleased to announce the second season of the collaborative project “Once Upon An Orchestra.” Seventeen free, public performances begin on Saturday, October 1 at the Portland Library and continue through February 2023 presented throughout Metro Louisville.

View the complete schedule at

Presented free, each branch will host one of six different, unique family programs that weave music and storytelling together in an interactive experience. Louisville Orchestra musicians perform music to fire the imagination around familiar and beloved stories for children. The hour-long experiences include a 30-minute small ensemble performance preceded by a hands-on activity to build a musical instrument from recycled materials. Everyone can be part of the music-making!

TJ Cole and Tyler Taylor, composers from the LO Creators Corps, are developing new musical scores to highlight beloved children’s books including Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, the traditional classic Peter and the Wolf, Matthew Forsythe’s Mina, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and more. Detailed biographies of the two participating Creators Corps members are listed below.

“We are excited to be truly deepening the partnership between LO and LFPL to provide impactful programming using music to support early childhood literacy,” says LO Education and Community Engagement Director Sarah Lempke O’Hare. “It is a privilege to be able to partner
with every LFPL branch and their communities building the love for music for all families.”

The musically enhanced storytelling leans into one of the key programs of the LFPL, the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge. This Library program encourages all families and caregivers to read at least 1000 books with their preschool-age children to build the vocabulary and language skills needed for success in school.“One of the Library’s primary goals is to encourage reading at all ages. Through this partnership with the Louisville Orchestra, we are able to provide families with an immersive storytelling experience that combines early literacy skills with music in a way that educates, entertains, and inspires,” said Library Director Lee Burchfield.

Co-presented by the Louisville Orchestra and the Louisville Free Public Library, “Once Upon An Orchestra” is funded with primary support from the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation and the Metro Louisville HeARTS initiative. HeARTS is a multi-faceted program to help achieve Metro Louisville’s goal of Building Community and Healing after the challenges of the last several years – unifying and inspiring neighbors in the unique way of the arts. The Library Foundation, founded in 1980, is a donor-driven nonprofit corporation dedicated to supporting access to knowledge, ideas, information, and the pursuit of learning through the Louisville Free Public Library system.

“We make it a priority to support programs like ‘Once Upon an Orchestra,’ ensuring free access to inspiring arts experiences for children and families throughout Louisville,” said Library Foundation Executive Director Chandra Gordon. “Our libraries are a special kind of place – unique hubs in our neighborhoods, open to everyone, with resources and programming that enrich our lives.”

For more information about the free program and schedule, please contact your branch of the Louisville Free Public Library or the Louisville Orchestra at 502.587.8681.



Creators Corps Composer/Program Curator Bios

TJ Cole (they/she) is an American composer from the suburbs of Atlanta. They have been commissioned and performed by orchestras around the country, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, among others. TJ has also been a singer- songwriter, producer, and engineer in the fully electronic synth -pop band, Twin Pixie, who focused on making music at the intersection of queerness, pop culture, and the sup ernatural. TJ received their bachelor’s degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music and studied at Interlochen Arts Academy. They also enjoy cooking, sewing, playing video games, playing swing sets on playgrounds, and caring for the various an imals in their life.

Tyler Taylor is a Louisville-based composer-performer whose work explores the different ways identity can be expressed in musical scenarios. Common among these pieces is a sense of contradiction – sometimes whimsical, sometimes alarming – that comes from the interaction of diverse musical layers. This contradiction likely comes from his being a person of mixed race, being raised on hip-hop and R&B while inheriting a European tradition of “classical art music,” and pursuing a career in a field that generally lacks representation of his demographic. Tyler has recently been commissioned by the Washington and Lee University Orchestra, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Contemporary Ensemble, the Youth Performing Arts School, the Louisville Orchestra, the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, and the Indiana Band Masters Association.

In addition to his composition, Tyler is an avid performer of contemporary music, playing horn in many of his own works and those by his colleagues. He holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Louisville.