After an unusually cool spring for Nashville, the weather is starting to heat up just in time for our annual “symphony under the stars” parks concerts which begin on Thursday, June 2 at Centennial Park (for the full schedule of Community Concerts click here).
So this is a good place for a brief pause to look back on our activities in the department of Education & Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony since January. A lot has happened since I posted my review of our fall 2015 activities: it’s been a very busy spring! This post is a summary of what we’ve been up to ~ in many cases I have already written articles about specific programs or events mentioned here: for more details, follow the links:
Last night, Thursday, May 19, the Nashville Symphony hosted the annual Side By Side concert with Curb Youth Symphony. With some 150 musicians on stage, I believe this was the largest orchestra I have ever heard on the stage of Laura Turner Hall. Curb Youth Symphony is directed by Carol Nies, and the annual Side By Side event was conducted by Nashville Symphony Associate Conductor Vinay Parameswaran. It included an afternoon and evening of rehearsals on Wednesday – including the traditional pizza party in the break – and Thursday night’s concert.
So often when we speak or write about music – when we practice, when we listen or perform – the focus of our attention is on the notes being played. These notes, their pitches and rhythmic accuracy, the articulation and tone with which they are produced, how fast or slow they come one after another, how they blend with those being played by others if we are playing in an ensemble: these notes and the attention we pay to them form the basis of so much of our work as musicians.
Yet there is another element to music making that is just as essential as the notes: silence. Silence is there before the music begins and continues after it ends. Silence punctuates the spaces between the notes and exists even as the notes are sounding, buoying the notes up like foam on the crests of waves on the surface of the ocean. Silence isn’t just the absence of sound. It is what gives music perspective and depth, and the power to penetrate deep into the psyche of the listener.
Without silence, there is no music.
Next Wednesday, May 11 at 7 pm, the Nashville Symphony and the League of American Orchestras will host the most prestigious event of its kind in North America – right here in Nashville, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
This is a FREE concert and is open to the public.
On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the Nashville Children’s Choir Program held their annual spring concert, as they have every year for more than 25 years. This year’s performance was even more touching than previous years’ performances – not only was the concert the culmination of the year’s rehearsals presented by the more than 250 singers in the program’s 4 choirs. In addition, some 80 alumni – including many in their 20s and 30s – joined the choirs for the day to rehearse a very special “Homecoming” program presented that afternoon that included singers who participated in NCC in the past as well as currently enrolled choristers.