The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts have announced the four orchestras selected to participate in the third SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, to take place March 23-29, 2020. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, will each give a Kennedy Center Concert Hall performance with all tickets priced at $25, plus each will take part in citywide residency activities.
The festival will feature diverse repertoire, thematic collaborations, commissioned works, dialogue and vocal elements, as well as projections. Each orchestra will share a version of their own education and community engagement programming with the DC community. The DC festival also provides an opportunity for the orchestras to interact with their respective elected officials and to educate members of Congress about the value of the arts and orchestras. The hope is that SHIFT 2020 will facilitate conversations about the impact and value of the arts on communities.
Performing at Kennedy Center March 24, Jacksonville Symphony’s SHIFT theme is “Bridges” and its program will explore the influences of jazz on traditional classical composers. Residency activities will include “Compose Yourself.” Composer-in-residence Courtney Bryan and symphony musicians, members of Local 444 (Jacksonville, FL), will help middle school students compose a personal theme song.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the changing faces of America in a program ranging from Dvořák to Florence Price to Golijov for its March 25 Kennedy Center performance. Residency activities will involve musicians of all ages through the acclaimed OrchKids program and Rusty Musicians, inviting amateur adult musicians to play side-by-side with Baltimore Symphony musicians, members of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD).
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
On March 27, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Kennedy Center performance and program will celebrate the artistic legacy of Knoxville. Its residency will focus on its Music & Wellness program. Musicians, members of Local 546 (Knoxville, TN), will work with local nursing staff and a neonatal unit to bring live, therapeutic music to patients in health care facilities.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, members of Local 802 (New York City), and Classical Theatre of Harlem will offer a portrait of cultural diversity and vitality in New York City through a musical/theatrical performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on March 28. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, will present residency activities centered on the Orpheus Process, its signature collaborative method. An Orpheus Reflections residency will serve DC-area residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their caregivers.