Fellow-Wisconsonite Kevin Henkes created one of America's most enduring and adorable children's characters in a little mouse named Lilly who loves her purple plastic purse so much that she cannot--simply cannot--contain herself in class. After receiving an admonishment from her favorite teacher, she agrees to wait until show-and-tell to share her beautiful purple plastic purse.
In 1998, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra commissioned a work for narrator and orchestra based on Kevin's illustrated book, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. It was premiered by the orchestra on 7 November 1998, with Kevin serving beautifully as narrator and music director James Smith conducting.
Problems with the rights shelved the piece until July 2017, when (nearly twenty years later) Peermusic Classical arranged with Henke's publisher for that performing version to be released. This purely instrumental suite for woodwind quintet (which consists only of music inspired by Kevin's story) was composed in August 2017 for a special "Coffee and Kids" concert at the Wintergreen Music Festival and will be given its world premiere on 6 August, 2017.
Learn more about the concert here.
Learn more about the Wintergreen Festival here.