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World Premiere!

On SAT, NOV 4, 2023, we had the pleasure of debuting a Children's Book with Music Accompaniment before the Midland Symphony Orchestra's POSTCARDS concert. The children's book, HELLO YELLOW CELLO, is authored by Rae Chesny and adorned with delightful illustrations by Naty Scabuso. This exclusive creation was commissioned especially by the Center. At this event, the story was read aloud with a special orchestral arrangement led by MacArthur Fellow, Tomeka Reid.
Hello Yellow Cello Premiere


By Rae Chesny, with illustrations by Naty Scabuso

/ Yellow Cello loves sharing his music with his community. But when a terrible fall ruins his cello strings, Yellow Cello needs the help of his friends to learn new ways to make music. Join him on this thrilling musical journey, where the pages come alive with music as you read along. Come along for this fun musical adventure and the joy of working together.

Copies of the book are available to order now. Additional charges apply for shipping.

Click HERE for a read-aloud version of HELLO YELLOW CELLO with music arrangement by Tomeka Reid.

A message from author Rae Chesny:

Storytelling has taken me to magical places. The Hello Yellow Cello project with the Midland Center for the Arts has been one of them. Hello Yellow Cello was designed to empower children to see themselves as agents of change. It is my wish that Yellow Cello’s story gifts each reader a deeper sense of belonging in their communities and a new curiosity about the many possibilities that exist in the field of classical music. As you follow Yellow Cello’s journey, I hope that you and the children in your lives feel the magic through the pages and the accompanying music.

Meet the Artists

Author Rae Chesny

Rae Chesny


Rae Chesny is an interdisciplinary writer, award-winning social education expert, and Zora Neale Hurston Scholar. Celebrated for her innovative education methodologies, Rae serves audiences of all ages around the world through storytelling. Additionally, she is a Johns Hopkins literary consultant and a guest lecturer at Michigan State University’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. Rae is a 2021 Baldwin House Urban Writer in Residence and a 2023 Barbara Smith Writer in Residence. Rae has been featured on American Black Journal, in Michigan Chronicle, in Black Enterprise, and on several radio shows.

Composer Tomeka Reid

Tomeka Reid

Cellist and Composer

Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community. A 2022 Herb Alpert Award recipient, 2021 USA Fellow, 2019 Foundation of the Arts recipient, and 2016 3Arts recipient, Tomeka received her Doctorate in Music from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2017. In the fall of 2019, Tomeka received a teaching appointment at Mills College as the Darius Milhaud Chair in Composition.

Naty Scabuso


Naty Scabuso is a professional illustrator based in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Since childhood, Naty has had a deep love for drawing, consistently expressing her desire to pursue a career in creating art. Naty's work is characterized by her love for bright colors, textures, and intricate details, all aimed at conveying a rich world of emotions through her illustrations.