On the Importance of Community Engagement
Orchestras are a symbol for a community. We represent several different voices, some soft and others loud. We learn to listen intently to one another and find that, when we do, our collective harmony is enhanced.
This harmony touches everyone that hears it. Indeed, orchestral performances create the space for people of all backgrounds from the community to come together and rise above the lines that are so often used to divide us.
A concert has the possibility to unite us in our shared humanity—and Beethoven certainly had this in mind when he was composing his Ninth Symphony. I am very hopeful that our upcoming season’s programming will engage the Longmont community in such a way that our performances are not only seen as pleasant sounds but also as a statement of what we aspire to as a community.
Our first Masterworks program in October centers around the theme of “Friendship.” Aside from the many new friends that I have made in Longmont and in the orchestra, I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with two special guests that I am looking forward to introducing to you—one is a local composer and the other is a New York-based pianist. The second half of the program will continue highlighting the beauty of friendships in a performance of Elgar’s Enigma Variations, where the personalities of his closest friends inspired some of his greatest music.
Our November concert falls on Veterans Day, and we have chosen American repertoire to honor our veterans. I am looking forward to engaging and honoring these brave men and women, the true heroes of our community, who have fought so hard to secure the freedoms that we all enjoy as Americans.
Another way in which the Longmont Symphony will interact with the community is by engaging families and building bridges with other organizations. We will be teaming up with the Longmont Youth Symphony, Longmont Public Library, and other cultural institutions for our Family Concert in January. I sincerely hope that engaging this section of the community will be the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for parents sharing the joy of music with their children, highlighting the incredible young talent in our schools, and celebrating the important and lasting impact that area music teachers are making in the lives of young people.
In addition, I have been extended the honor of accompanying the City of Longmont’s Public Safety Chief Mike Butler on a “Belonging Revolution” walk to get to know members of the Latino community. I am eagerly anticipating this walk and looking forward to learning Spanish as part of my commitment to engaging diverse members of the Longmont community.
Full details on our 2017-18 season will be announced next week!
I hope to see you very soon at our July Fourth concert.