Maine student performs with Portland Symphony Orchestra

SACO – Delaney Ziegman, a junior at Thornton Academy, will debut an original story entitled Symphony Safari on stage with the Portland Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, January 21. Ziegman wrote the piece specifically to fit the music provided by the PSO. Symphony Safari is one of the PSO Discovery Concerts for Kids and is designed to provide an opportunity for families to enjoy classical music together.

Thornton Academy junior, Delaney Ziegman.

In addition to having written Symphony Safari, she will narrate it live on stage at the concert on January 21. The story is tailored to the music. Zoo animals have escaped into the woods behind a boy’s house, and the narration that accompanies each song tells the story of one of the animals.

Conductor Andrew Crust contacted Ziegman to participate in this concert after seeing a play that she had written during Thornton Academy’s student-written play night in June 2017. He provided her with the music for the show, including recognizable pieces such as the theme from Peter and the Wolf and the Harry Potter films. Ziegman began writing Symphony Safari in September and worked closely with Crust to perfect her writing and maintain similarity with prior Discovery Concerts.

In addition to Symphony Safari, Ziegman wrote a play entitled Complex, which was performed at the student-written play night at Thornton Academy in June 2017. Ziegman wrote, directed, and produced her own play. Fellow TA students Zach Lachance ‘17 and Lauren Mesley ‘18 also presented plays that night.

Ziegman credits the Thornton Academy Arts Department with giving her the experience and support necessary to embark on these ambitious projects. David Hanright, a theater teacher at Thornton Academy, inspired her to write her first play.

“Thank you to Mr. Hanright and the whole Arts Department that is so supportive and open. I got to put on my own show and do it from start to finish. They really let me run with it,” Ziegman said.

Delaney Ziegman performing a scene from “You Can’t Take it With You” at Thornton Academy. Appropriately enough, she portrays a writer.

Writing is Ziegman’s biggest passion. Every November since age 7, she has participated in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. She writes for herself, and as of yet has not published any of her novels, but expressed a desire to self-publish a book in an original format.

Ziegman has also been acting since a young age. Before moving to Saco two years ago, she lived in Colorado and performed with the Great American Laughing Stock, a Shakespeare theater company. While at Thornton Academy, she has participated in six theater productions in addition to the Student-Written Play night.

“Thornton Academy welcomed me in right away. The TA Players are a second family to me. Sometimes I take it for granted how great the people are.”

Symphony Safari will be performed at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 21 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at

David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at