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2020 - 2021
2020 certainly was a challenge! I spent the summer working closely with the Executive Committee of the GCO board to develop plans to help our musicians as well provide meaningful content for our area's public schools. Magical Music and Timeless Tales pairs GCO musicians with area public school music teachers in a series of videos based on classic children's stories from around the world. I hosted each of these videos in which the story is augmented with diverse repertoire to introduce children to great music of the past and present in an approachable format. Initially provided just to our home communities of Montgomery and Williamson County, GCO is working to secure rights to distribute these videos nationally.
As summer turned into fall, I had the opportunity to work with my student groups at Austin Peay State University. We worked outdoors in a tent, learned about aerosol transmission of the Covid virus, developed plans to safely rehearse indoors and got to work. We were able to develop new skills for recording soundtracks, tackled chamber pieces like Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and even managed to premiere a brand new work by the incredible Cristina Spinei.
With these experiences to draw from, I spoke with the GCO Board and Musicians about the possibility of presenting a virtual concert to celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday in the context of 2020. We were delighted with the results and encourage you to explore it following the link below. Hosted by Roberta Richardson and Dr. Michael Chandler, the program explores the social and cultural challenges that 2020 illuminated as well as the role that Tennessee played in the ratification of the 19th Amendment. During intermission, we also explore the safety protocols that allowed this program to be prepared and presented. Join us!
As 2020 drew to a close we were anxious to see what new plans we would be able to develop for the rest of the season. With one virtual event under our belt, we decided to "swing for the fences." The result was a four-concert version of America's Haydn Festival. These programs brought together the GCO (who presented a family concert with author Anna Celenza and masterworks concert with cellist Michael Samis) along with programs by the St. Lawrence String Quartet and pianist Henry Kramer. Bill McGlaughlin joined us all for interviews and insight. Available from the link below, the festival is available through mid-December 2021.
May 23, 2021 - 3:00pm
Gateway Chamber Orchestra
Mabry Concert Hall
America's Haydn Festival - Featuring Michael Samis, cello
Caroline Shaw – Entr'acte
Franz Joseph Haydn – Cello Concerto No. 2 in D
Cristina Spinei – Prelude (Premiere Performance)
Franz Joseph Haydn – Symphony No. 96 in D Miracle
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