The Idaho Falls Symphony plans a busy opening day for its 70th season with an afternoon family concert and an evening masquerade concert.

The family concert is a costume party based on “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens and will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Colonial Theater.

“Starting at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Willard Arts Center, we’ll hold an Instrument Petting Zoo, where children (and parents) can hold and play musical instruments before seeing them played on stage,” the symphony said in a news release.

Tickets for the family concert are available at

“We can’t wait to see kids in costume,” said Thomas Heuser, music director of the Idaho Falls Symphony. “Excited to see who looks the most like one of the characters in ‘Carnival of the Animals.’ Have fun!”

The evening event, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Colonial Theater, is a breast cancer awareness concert that partners with Mountain View Hospital to promote regular mammograms.

Patrons are encouraged to dress up “masquerade-style” and don a mask or dress up as an animal.

“Our opening concert of this celebratory season will be a true jubilee! Come party with us!” Heuser said. “Our exuberant masquerade promises to bring out the fun and fancy side of our audience and musicians. Who says adults can’t wear costumes to the symphony?”

The concert will feature the music of Jacques Offenbach, Franz von Suppe, Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” and the “Carnival of the Animals.”

Pianists Stephen Thomas and Michael McQuay, both members of the piano faculty at Brigham Young University-Idaho, will be featured. Narration, written by Ogden Nash, will be performed along with the “Carnival of the Animals” by Mick Ohman.

Thomas is currently the director of Keyboard Studies and Associate Dean in the College of Performing and Visual Arts at BYU-Idaho. He has performed extensively, adjudicates piano competitions and coaches master classes, and serves as the acting principal pianist of the Idaho Falls Symphony.

The first-generation American son of Brazilian immigrants, McQuay is a native of Provo, Utah. His performance career and music education have taken him to several locations around the globe. He is currently professor of piano at BYU-Idaho where he is an active teacher and performer.

Heuser will offer a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Masquerade concert at 7:30 p.m. The concert will include a presentation by Mountain View Hospital with testimonials by local survivors of breast cancer.

For ticket information, go to