While COVID-19 quarantine measures have prevented the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and Penn Square Music Festival from proceeding with their initially scheduled seasons, both organizations have come together in the spirit of making music.
The groups are presenting the fittingly-titled Harmonize Lancaster, a week of free virtual performances released nightly between Monday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 26. With summer events canceled for Penn Square Music Festival and fall concerts similarly in doubt, the possibility of online performances struck both organizations as a way to both mitigate financial loss and still bring music to the community.
"This project is a true collaboration of instrumentalists, singers, and administrators from the LSO and PSMF. As the project name indicates, these many parts will come together for a week of united artistry,” says LSO Executive Director Guy McIntosh in a press release.
Performances are released each night at 6 p.m. and will remain available for viewing on either organization’s websites and Facebook and YouTube pages.
The music performed represents a wide swath of styles, from the chamber music of Brahms and Stravinsky to an all-brass arrangement of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Here is the schedule of the week’s events:
Monday, Sept. 21: The Lancaster Symphony orchestra performs “Overture to The Marriage of Figaro” and soloist Blake Friedman, tenor, performs “Ah Mes Amis” from “Daughter of the Regiment.”
Tuesday, Sept. 22: A night of selections from the operas “Pagliacci and Susannah” featuring vocalists Denisha Ballew, soprano, Peter Scott Drackley, tenor, John Kun Park, tenor and Anthony Whitson Martini, baritone. Also, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra performs Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Wednesday, Sept. 23: The third night is dedicated to the opera and chamber works of composers such as Giacomo Puccini, Igor Stravinsky and Camille Saint-Saëns.
Thursday, Sept. 24: A horn trio from the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra performs the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Horn Trio in E-flat Major followed by soloist Hannah Brammer, soprano, singing Puccini’s “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from “La Rondine.”
Friday, Sept. 25: A quartet of vocalists from the Lancaster Square Music Festival performs Giuseppe Verdi’s “Quartet from Rigoletto,” featuring Teresa Castillo, soprano, Terrence Chin-Loy, tenor, Kate Jackman, mezzo soprano and Andrew Wannigman, baritone. The night will also feature a discussion between PSMF founder Scott Drackley and LSO executive director Guy McIntosh.
Saturday, Sept. 26: The final night of Harmonize Lancaster features a live performance from principal members of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s “Septet for Winds and Strings in E-Flat Major, Op. 20.”
All performances will be available to view on demand after they premiere each night. For more information, visit lancastersymphony.org/harmonize-lancaster.