Reading Is Instrumental

Reading Is Instrumental

Virtual Storytime

Join the virtual family fun with Reading Is Instrumental, a weekly musical storytime produced by the Berkeley Public Library Foundation and Berkeley Symphony. Each episode features a Bay Area celebrity reading a beloved children’s book with musical accompaniment by members of the Berkeley Symphony. Listeners of all ages will be sure to enjoy this uplifting virtual program.

All-Star Lineup

For example, comedian/actor Andy Samberg reads his longtime pal Jorma Taccone’s new book, Little Fox and the Wild Imagination and Thacher Hurd reads his award-winning book, Mama Don’t Allow, about a swamp band and alligators who love the saxophone. Berkeley Symphony artistic director René Mandel works closely with each all-star reader for every episode of Reading Is Instrumental to choose the pieces of music and instrument(s) to best complement the story and enhance the storytime experience.

Season 1

New episodes begin February 19th
Broadcast LIVE on the Berkeley Public Library Facebook
Fridays @ 11am

EPISODE 1

Rita Moreno reads The Runaway Bunny accompanied by bassoonist Ravinder Sehgal

In this first episode of Reading Is Instrumental storytime, Academy Award winning actor Rita Moreno reads the beloved children’s book The Runaway Bunny accompanied by Berkeley Symphony bassoonist Ravinder Sehgal.

EPISODE 2

Maxine Hong Kingston and Earll Kingston team up to read Baby’s Got the Blues accompanied by bassist Michel Taddei

In the second episode of Reading Is Instrumental storytime, acclaimed author and UC Berkeley Professor Emerita Maxine Hong Kingston and her husband actor Earll Kingston read Baby’s Got the Blues accompanied by Berkeley Symphony bassist Michel Taddei.

EPISODE 3

Andy Samberg reads Jorma Taccone’s new book accompanied by violinist Matthew Szemela

In this episode of Reading Is Instrumental storytime, comedian Andy Samberg will read his longtime pal Jorma Taccone’s new book, Little Fox and the Wild Imagination. Andy’s reading will be accompanied by Berkeley Symphony violinist Matthew Szemela.

EPISODE 4

Michael Kwende reads Thank You, Omu! accompanied by pianist Ming Luke

In this episode of Reading Is Instrumental storytime, our all-star musical story time series, beloved children’s librarian Michael Kwende will read Oge Mora’s Thank you, Omu! accompanied by Berkeley Symphony Education Director and celebrated conductor and pianist, Ming Luke.

EPISODE 5

Thacher Hurd reads Mama Don’t Allow accompanied by saxophonist Patrick Posey

In this episode of Reading is Instrumental storytime, our all-star musical story time series, Thacher Hurd reads his beloved book, Momma Don’t Allow, accompanied by Berkeley Symphony saxophonist, Patrick Posey.

EPISODE 6

Berkeley Symphony Conductor Joseph Young & Guest Musicians on Reading Is Instrumental

In this episode of Reading Is Instrumental storytime, our all-star musical story time series, Berkeley Symphony Conductor Joseph Young will read Jody Cox’s My Family Plays Music accompanied by a small ensemble of Berkeley Symphony musicians.

Watch All

I grew up in Berkeley and I went to the Berkeley Public Library all the time. So this is very special for me.

–ANDY SAMBERG, ACTOR/COMEDIAN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ALUMNI

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