The Highly Anticipated Return of ROARchestra! (Media Release)

Zoo Contact:  Kyle Shepherd
(O) 502-238-5331 (C) 502-744-5639  

Orchestra Contact: Mallory Kramer
Director of Marketing Louisville Orchestra

A Partnership Between the Louisville Zoo and Louisville Orchestra Brings Back Popular ROARchestra Concert for a Wild Evening of Music and Wildlife

(May 22, 2024) – The Louisville Zoo and Louisville Orchestra are thrilled to announce the highly anticipated return of ROARchestra on Saturday, July 6 at the Louisville Zoo. Following a 15-year hiatus, this beloved family-friendly event combines the excitement of a visit to the Zoo with the soul-stirring sounds of the Louisville Orchestra, creating an unforgettable experience.

“Partnering with Louisville Orchestra to resurrect ROARchestra is super exciting! We are so grateful to Graham Parker and Teddy Abrams for their resourceful leadership and innovative spirit to give this amazing gift back to our community,” said Louisville Zoo Director Dan Maloney. “The return of the event is among the top requests our staff receives. ROARchestra is packed with nostalgia and our patrons have such fond memories of attending incredible live performances at the Zoo. We hope to help our guests create new, even more awesome memories in July with ROARchestra’s return and look forward to growing our partnership with the Louisville Orchestra.”

“We are excited to bring ROARchestra back to Louisville after 15 years,” said Graham Parker, Chief Executive of the Louisville Orchestra. “Ever since my arrival in Louisville, not a week will go by when someone asks if ROARchestra will ever be returning, so we are thrilled to say this year that we are. This event is a testament to the incredible partnership between the Louisville Orchestra and the Louisville Zoo, offering a truly unique experience that combines the beauty of wildlife with the power of live music.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. allowing guests to explore the Zoo or get settled in the Oasis Field. The concert, conducted by Teddy Abrams, begins at 8:30 p.m. under the stars. Abrams will be joined by guest vocalists Jason Clayborn and Daria Raymore with backup singers Teaira Dunn, CeCe Dunn, and Latiana Clayborn. The evening will be a blend of classical masterpieces with soulful pop hits. This unique fusion promises a lineup that will resonate with audiences of all tastes.

The concert will kick off with Leonard Bernstein’s energetic Three Dance Episodes from “On the Town,” setting the stage for an unforgettable musical journey. Audiences will then be immersed in the profound depths of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, a true masterpiece that will captivate and inspire.

Prepare to be moved by the soul-stirring renditions of timeless classics by legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie. The incredible vocalists will deliver powerful performances of hits like “Endless Love“ “It’s A Man’s World,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Their extraordinary talent will leave you in awe and have you singing along with them all night.


Adults — $30, Children 3-11 — $15, Children 2 and under — Free, Parking is included with admission.

Concessions, including adult libations, will be available for purchase. This event is expected to sell out; the Zoo and the Orchestra encourage guests to get their tickets early at


About the Louisville Orchestra 

The Louisville Orchestra was created in 1937 and sprung up in a time of need, just after the great flood and in the wake of the depression. Robert Whitney was invited to conduct the newly established orchestra, known then as the Louisville Philharmonic, and arrived from Chicago that same year. In its formation, the goal was to create a new model for the American symphony orchestra, as it was conceived through an ambitious effort that emphasized innovation through the commissioning, performance, and recording of new works by contemporary composers. The Louisville Orchestra garnered international critical acclaim, became the first orchestra to establish a record label, and cemented a place in history for its contribution to contemporary classical music. In its first two decades, the Louisville Orchestra commissioned/recorded up to 52 new works annually and ultimately created 150 vinyl recordings (LPs) of more than 450 works. The Louisville Orchestra continues to be recognized as a cornerstone of the Louisville performing arts community. Music Director Teddy Abrams has helmed the Louisville Orchestra since 2014, and the Louisville Orchestra has returned to its origins of commissioning new music and recording, having released two albums under the prestigious Decca Gold label. A wide variety of immersive and innovative concert performances and educational programming continue to receive national attention. Recent press coverage includes articles and mentions in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and CBS Sunday Morning. Accolades include three invitations to perform at Carnegie Hall; the Leonard Bernstein Award for Excellence in Educational Programming; the League of American Orchestras 2019 Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service; and 19 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) awards for adventurous programming in use of contemporary music.

About the Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo, the State Zoo of Kentucky, is the top, non-profit, paid attraction in the state. The Zoo is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).