In pools heated to a comfortable 90 degrees, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools' experienced instructors pass their aquatic knowledge onto younger generations. Before taking to the waters, the team sorts prospective swimmers between the ages of 6 months to 12 years into one of eight swim levels along with similarly skilled and aged peers. Instructors work alongside the parents of infants and toddlers to practice water safety skills and other swimming fundamentals such as blowing bubbles and singing whale songs. More advanced swimmers, meanwhile, master different strokes and techniques, and instructors incorporate more advanced concepts as their students progress through the levels. Parents can rest assured that their children are in good hands—each of Aqua-Tot's instructors have completed 32 hours in the company's Lessons for Life training program, and a rigorous Water Safety Instructor exam. In addition to swimming lessons, Aqua-Tots offers and hosts a number of other programs including Adaptive Aquatics programs, water therapy sessions designed specifically for children with special needs. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to World Vision, a non-profit organization that helps children and families worldwide gain access to such necessities as clean water, food, medical supplies, and education.
Performers feed off the energy of their audience, and when there is no audience, there is no energy. To stop this problem before it starts, venues turn to FillaseatDenver, a business that supplies its members with tickets to events that still have seats to fill. Members enjoy a year of entry to popular theater performances, sporting events, and concerts, bulking up the audience more suitably than a litter of Chihuahuas dressed in tuxedoes. Upon joining FillaseatDenver, members receive access to a list of upcoming events.
The nonprofit home of revitalized classical and contemporary music, the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra reshapes masterpieces by Vivaldi and Copland in its season opener, A New Birth of Freedom. As a hush falls over the audience, popular conductor Grant Gilman releases poised bows, sending them flying across strings to weave the notes of the overture to Rossini's lively La Gazza Ladra until they form a durable basket. Guest soloist Ertan Torgul, San Antonio Symphony's concertmaster, adds extra ear candy to the orchestra during Astor Piazzolla's modern version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. A narrating voice joins strings in Copland's Lincoln Portrait before performers jig through Elgar's Enigma Variations. Since the symphony aims to foster a love of music in young people, the special selection of Into the Storm fuses the experience of the orchestra with the energy of student musicians from Round Rock middle schools. At 7 p.m., Maestro Gilman will chat with interested audience members about the music and composers they're about to hear, as well as providing a glimpse of the rare bird taught to sing inside every violin.
Penfold Theatre Company takes offense to the notion that the best theater comes from New York. In every successful season, the Round Rock stock of actors and artists give the Great White Way a run for its money with inspired productions. Hatched in the summer of 2007—after an 18-hour road trip led its founders to the dramatic potential of the hills of north Travis and Williamson Counties—Penfold quickly blossomed into a community jewel and a critics’ darling. Winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Musical Production for the third year in a row, the troupe embarks on a new season filled with comedy, drama, and music—all while breeding new stocks of young thespians in their Penfold Players acting classes and summer camps.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.