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Classical Kids Storytime: 'The Boy Who Said Wow'

Ronan might still be listening to the music in his head after his incredible concert experience. Nancy Carlson for MPR
7min 3sec : Classical Kids Storytime: The Boy Who Said Wow

▼ Download: The Boy Who Said Wow

What happens when a quiet boy named Ronan attends an orchestra concert for the first time? Find out in Todd Boss' amazing story, based on a real event — a concert by the Handel and Haydn Society — that rocked the classical music world. It's The Boy Who Said Wow, the latest episode of Classical Kids Storytime, featuring music by Mozart and original illustrations by Nancy Carlson.

(See more of Carlson's illustrations in the gallery.)

Note from author Todd Boss: This story really happened. A boy named Ronan broke the silence after a concert in Boston with a "Wow!" that surprised and delighted his grandfather and everyone else! Ronan is nonverbal, which means he usually doesn't speak much. But that night, he seemed to speak for everyone. Ronan's unusual "Wow!" was caught on a radio recording, and you can hear that actual moment in this episode of Classical Kids Storytime. Everyone is special. You never know when it will be your turn to wow the world.


Classical Kids Storytime is supported by
Minnesota College Savings Plan

More: Other Classical Kids Storytime adventures

Listen to Classical Kids Storytime in your favorite podcast portal, including these:
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Educators: Classical Kids Storytime meets Common Core Standards

Video

Playlist

Our telling of The Boy Who Said Wow includes excerpts from the following recordings:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Andante in C
Concerto Koln, Cordula Breuer
Capriccio 1003

Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter)
Bratislava Mozart Academy, Martin Sieghart
Amadis 7033

Masonic Funeral Music (this is the piece that earned the "Wow!")
Kassel Spohr Chamber Orchestra, Roberto Paternostro
Naxos 570897

Courtesy of Naxos of America Inc.

Credits

Narrator: Scott Blankenship
Writer: Todd Boss
Illustrator: Nancy Carlson
Producer: Valerie Kahler
Special source audio: Provided by WCRB, Classical Radio Boston, in cooperation with the Handel and Haydn Society
Digital producer: James Napoli
Senior digital producer: Randy Salas
Program director: Julie Amacher

The Boy Who Said Wow
© Todd Boss
Used with permission and under license

"What a beautiful morning," father said. "Should we go to the beach?" Nancy Carlson for MPR
"What a lovely afternoon," mother said. "Should we go to the zoo?" Nancy Carlson for MPR
"Time to go to the concert!" grandfather said. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Out of the sleepy countryside and into the noisy city they went. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Grandfather was noisy, too. As he drove, he talked and talked. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Ronan was quiet all the way to Symphony Hall. Nancy Carlson for MPR
"You will sound amazing tonight!" the conductor said. Nancy Carlson for MPR
"This will make a terrific recording!" the radio man said. Nancy Carlson for MPR
"What a fantastic concert hall!" grandfather said. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Ronan was quiet as the musicians came onstage. Nancy Carlson for MPR
What goes on in Ronan's head, do you suppose? Only Ronan knows. Nancy Carlson for MPR
The lighter instruments sound warm and friendly. Nancy Carlson for MPR
The darker instruments sound cool and frightening. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Ronan opens his mouth, and out comes a great big "Wow!" Nancy Carlson for MPR
This "wow" isn't just any old "wow." It's Ronan's first "Wow!" Nancy Carlson for MPR
It fills up the whole concert hall! Nancy Carlson for MPR
"Wow!" says the usher. Nancy Carlson for MPR
"Wow!" says the radio man. Nancy Carlson for MPR
"Wow!" says the conductor. Nancy Carlson for MPR
"Wow!" says the orchestra president. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Ronan is quiet as he's tucked into bed. Nancy Carlson for MPR
Ronan might still be listening to the music in his head after his incredible concert experience. Nancy Carlson for MPR

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