Popular children's film, 'The Snowman,' returns to Grand Rapids Symphony stage on Nov. 11

Media Contact
Jenn Collard
Public Relations Intern
616.454.9451 ext. 139

GRAND RAPIDS, MI., October, 31, 2017 – Back by popular demand, The Snowman, the classic animated film, returns to the Grand Rapids Symphony stage to inspire children of all ages and open the 2017-18 DTE Energy Foundation Family Series.

The hour-long concert, which sold out in 2015 and 2016, features the well-known animated film, projected onto a 40-foot screen while accompanied by the musical score performed live.  

Hailed as “iconic and ethereal” The Snowman wordlessly tells the story of a boy who builds a snowman who comes to life and leads him on a wide-eyed and wondrous adventure to meet Father Christmas. 

Led by Associate Conductor John Varineau, the Grand Rapids Symphony will perform the magical score by Howard Blake as the snowman and his young friend adventure through darkened woods, over rolling mountains, and above quiet ocean waves in the film that garnered an Academy Award nomination in 1982.

With plucky violins and xylophones for mischief, reflective piano melodies for soft, falling snow, and deep bass notes for night-time flight – is an invitation for children ages 8 to 13 and adults to savor the simple joys of the holiday season.    

The DTE Energy Foundation Family Series program will be at 3 p.m., Saturday, November 11, in DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. The program features other popular holiday melodies including Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and music from “The Polar Express,” along with the performance of The Snowman.

Come early at 2 p.m. for pre-concert activities sponsored by Clark Hill PLC. Children can experience the joy of making music with an instrument petting zoo and keep their creative juices flowing with crafts inspired by the playful snowman they’ll soon see in the show.

Originally published in 1978 by famed children’s illustrator Raymond Briggs, The Snowman has become one of the world’s most popular children’s books, selling in excess of 8.5 million copies worldwide, with translations into 15 different languages.  

Adapted for screen by producer John Coates, the 30-minute film first premiered in the United Kingdom in 1982 on a British public television station.  The film quickly became a beloved staple of the Christmas season in Great Britain, and later found a home in America, with the help of an introduction by rock icon David Bowe.  The film has since been broadcast on a global scale, and garnered an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA TV award.

First performed by Peter Auty, a choirboy at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the song, “Walking in the Air,” provides the only dialogue in the otherwise wordless film.  The startlingly beautiful melody with an almost haunting orchestration will be performed by singers of the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus’s select ensemble, Mandala.


Tickets are $15 adults and $5 children, available at the GRS ticket office, weekdays 9 am-5 pm at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.)

Tickets are available at the DeVos Place box office, weekdays 10 am - 6 pm or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets also may be purchased online at GRSymphony.org.

Full-time students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on the night of the concert by enrolling in the GRS Student Ticket program.

Season tickets for the DTE Energy Foundation Series are available at substantial discounts.

A two-concert package also includes a performance of Peter and the Wolf Live with the Grand Rapids Symphony performing Sergei Prokofiev’s perennially popular musical score plus projected images drawn live by an artist as the story unfolds at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, 2018. Tickets for the two-concert package are $27 adults, $10 children.

A three-concert package adds a performance of the Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops, featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus joined by vocalist Leon Williams and Embellish handbell ensemble. Shows eligible for the package are at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 16. Tickets for the three-concert package are $60 adults, $15 children.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony

Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are given each year, touching the lives of some 200,000, nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities all reached through extensive education and community service programs. Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus; Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra; and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. GRS provides the orchestra for performances by Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet and sponsors the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival, which was held in March 2017 and returns in 2019.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit the website or

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This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.