The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, in conjunction with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild, presents the annual Young People’s Concerts to area fourth-graders, allowing them to explore a true symphony concert programmed just for them at no cost.

Gregory Vajda, HSO Music Director and Conductor, will lead orchestra members in a performance of:

The Composer is Dead

There is no admission cost for the concerts.

The 2023 Young People’s Concerts will be held at the following date and times:

      • Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
      • Friday, February 24, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

For questions about the 2023 Young People’s Concerts, please email

4th Grade ACCR Standards

Amanda Miranda’s Amazing Birthday

Young People’s Concerts, 1987

Music by H. Garrett Phillips

Story and narration by Sara McDaris

I was at a storytelling festival in Jonesboro Tennessee, in conversation with several other storytellers. I turned to Jay O’Callahan, who writes his own stories, and said, “Jay, please write a story for children that could be put to music. I want a change from Peter and the Wolf.” He looked me straight in the eye and replied, “You write it.”

Amanda Miranda is the result. I have never considered myself a writer, and I was delighted with the finished composition.

The Huntsville Symphony Board of Trustees commissioned the music from Tuscaloosa composer H. Garrett Phillips, and Amanda Miranda was first performed in 1987 for the HSO Young People’s Concerts. I was delighted to narrate the concert. I remember seeing trumpeter David Spencer laughing at me just before the performance, because I was jumping up and down in my excitement and anticipation.

Sometimes, grand things happen to people. It did to me.

Sara McDaris