Justine Clarke - Mimi’s Symphony

Mimi's Symphony

This event is suitable for children aged 4-8 years


An introduction to the orchestra with Justine Clarke.

Join writer and narrator Justine Clarke and composer and conductor George Ellis for a journey with Mimi the magpie. She’ll encounter different animals, learn how to survive in the suburbs and bring everyone together in the park. Through this lively story, you will meet the sections of the orchestra as they unite in a joyous symphony!

Justine Clarke on Mimi’s Symphony:
“It was so exciting creating a story that introduces the orchestra to Australian children with animals they are familiar with in a landscape that they relate to. Our protagonist Mimi the baby magpie is curious, capable and kind. Writing her story reminded me that there is great power in listening.”

Music Play is supported by The Betty Amsden Kids & Families Program.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Mimi’s Symphony
An introduction to the orchestra with Justine Clarke

Mimi’s Symphony is a story, told through word and music, about a baby magpie wanting to belong and find a sense of place in her world. It starts when Mimi is thrown from her nest by the wind (the audience) as a hatchling and lands at the base of a tree on the edge of a sporting oval.

Her journey leads her to meet all the different gangs that live in the park; the ogs (played by the brass), the possums (played by the strings), and the magpies (played by the woodwinds). The animals are all squeezed for time on their patch due to the humans always playing games there – the dogs have no time to run and rumble, the magpies are starving because they have no time to look for their food and the possums can’t sleep because the magpies are always singing to protect their turf.

Nobody needs another mouth to feed so Mimi grows up without a family or a home but she learns to survive and thrive before discovering her true purpose which miraculously brings all the sections/gangs together in a joyous symphony!

One of Mimi’s great strengths is her ability to listen – she can’t understand what the gangs are saying (she’s only a baby!) but she listens and loves the sounds they make. Throughout the performance Justine will invite the audience to listen to the spaces in between music and join in with a beautiful song called Listen from her album Pyjama Jam, and with direction from George the conductor, we will make sounds from the world around us; the rain, a clock, thunder and a cat’s purr. You have really joined the orchestra now!

The show culminates in a celebration of music with the orchestra playing arrangements of Justine Clarke’s best and most popular songs like Watermelon, Dinosaur Roar and I Like To Sing with everybody singing along in a real life joyous symphony!

Justine Clarke and George Ellis have both had extensive careers creating rich musical experiences for children that extend and excite them, introduce them to new sounds and share in their wonder. In 2017 when casting a role for a conductor in her ABC TV program The Justine Clarke Show, Justine immediately thought of George for the part, which then began discussions about collaborating to create a new orchestral story that Australian kids could identify with and enjoy. And so, Mimi was born (or hatched!).


Justine Clarke, narrator
George Ellis, conductor