Symphony to bring ‘Wall to Wall Percussion’ to Lima

LIMA —The Lima Symphony Orchestra hopes to help the entire family keep the beat at 3 p.m. Sunday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.

Wall to Wall Percussion will see the orchestra led by percussionist and host Vern Griffiths in a literal wall-to-wall setup with instruments ranging from usual drums and sticks to buckets and an actual kitchen sink.

“It’s just so much fun,” said LSO Executive Director Elizabeth Brown-Ellis. “It is about an hour long so it is perfect for kids with shorter attention spans. It is a very fast-paced repertoire so it keeps moving very quickly, and since it is an all-percussion program, it is perfect for little boys and girls. If you have a child who you think is probably not able to sit through a symphony concert or a kid who gets in trouble in school for tapping on the desk or moving and twitching their feet, this is the perfect time for them.”

It all comes from the mind of Griffiths, a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and a good friend of LSO Maestro Andrew Crust.

“He is so much more than just a percussionist who plays music,” said Brown-Ellis. “He creates these programs and they’re really high energy and perfect for kids. He is kind of a big kid at heart, and he’s just designed this whole range of children’s programming.”

Brown-Ellis said that the performance will see the entire stage filled from one side to the other with instruments from Griffiths’ two trunks, including the aforementioned kitchen sink and a garbage can.

It will take a great effort to find things like soup cans, coffee tables and ironing boards to bring to the stage for the demonstration of how to make music in your everyday life without expensive instruments.

“So it’s fun and challenging and a little bit quirky for us because we are doing things that we are not accustomed to doing,” said Brown-Ellis. “It’s definitely additional work, but anytime you see those kids and how their faces just light up, as well as how they relate to these things that they didn’t expect to see in a symphony concert, that makes it all worth it.”

In a similar vein, Brown-Ellis said that she would hope that the audience leaves the concert realizing how much joy there is in music and how it is everywhere.

“It is universal,” she said. “And that kid who is maybe perceived as disruptive because of their noise in class is probably just a frustrated drummer. And this is not a concert where you have to sit still and follow the rules. This is the concert where you can stand up and clap and drum on your knees. You can participate and enjoy it, and I think that’s really what the family concert is about, introducing kids to symphonic music in a way that is so engaging and entertaining that they’re having a great time.

Tickets for the event, as well as more information, can be found on the Lima Symphony Orchestra website.


WHAT: Lima Symphony Orchestra family concert, “Wall to Wall Percussion”

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Veterans Memorial Civic Center, 7 Town Square, Lima

Tickets are $10 and are available at

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.