Gateway Chamber Orchestra Celebrates Beethoven@250: Humanity In 2020 With A Virtual Streaming Concert
December 1, 2020
The Gateway Chamber Orchestra (GCO) presents Beethoven@250: Humanity in 2020, a free streaming online musical event celebrating composer Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The virtual concert also honors the works of two groundbreaking composers in classical music: George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, and Jessie Montgomery, one of the most energetic and inspiring interpreters of the American ethos.
The performance, recorded in beautiful Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University, is a fitting soundtrack to a momentous year. From the centennial anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the rise of the pandemic to the outcry for social justice, 2020 has made a distinctive mark on humanity. The GCO captures this sentiment in an evening of moving performances that embody "tragedy to triumph," a theme made famous by classical music's most revolutionary composer.
Beethoven@250: Humanity in 2020 is the first virtual concert to be performed and streamed on YouTube by GCO. The team determined if they social distanced and followed guidelines on safety for wind instruments they would be able to stage a program that could be streamed. GCO will partner with videographer Rick Godwin to capture stunning visuals of the performance and GRAMMY award winning Soundmirror in Boston for sound production.
As GCO conductor Gregory Wolynec explains, the program attempts to look at Beethoven@250 through a 2020 lens. The program opens with Beethoven's dramatic and fiery "Coriolan Overture" which leads to a beautiful, noble second theme. It was written for a tragedy and instead of a heroic ending there is a pause followed by a very quiet, mysterious ending.
Walker's "Lyric for Strings," originally titled "Lament" was written as a tribute to his late grandmother when he was only 24 years old. The emotions that he felt while composing the piece are palpable in the music. The joyous "Starburst," by Montgomery, one of the most prominent emerging composers in America, fits the bill perfectly to pay tribute to the anniversary of women earning the right to vote. The program concludes with Beethoven's "Symphony No. 7 in A," one of the finest orchestral works ever written from the optimistic first movement to the iconic second movement through the wild romp of the finale.
"This is a concert with a unique perspective allowing us to tackle more overlooked and contemporary works as well," says Gregory Wolynec, conductor, Gateway Chamber Orchestra. "Celebrating Beethoven within the context of such a tumultuous 2020 felt like the responsible way to handle the dramatically changed world that we now find ourselves in. We hope to provide something thoughtful and uplifting to our established audience while also introducing our talented musicians to a broader audience."
Register on Eventbrite to watch Beethoven@250: Humanity in 2020, a free virtual concert to be streamed on YouTube. It is recommended to watch the performance in a home theater environment with the best speakers available. The GCO encourages families to host a virtual watch party and celebrate Beethoven by submitting photos to our Facebook page using the hashtag #beethoven250.
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About Gateway Chamber Orchestra
The Gateway Chamber Orchestra is an American ensemble that performs regularly in Middle Tennessee under the direction of Music Director Gregory Wolynec. The GCO has been recognized for its inspired classical and contemporary musical offerings, innovative educational initiatives and numerous world-class recordings. Ensemble members include leading professionals from around the Southeast including symphony musicians, recording artists and the performance faculty at Austin Peay State University. Visit https://www.gatewaychamberorchestra.com/.
Gateway Chamber Orchestra united great music, engaging stories and music learning for area school children
October 30, 2020
The Gateway Chamber Orchestra’s mission includes serving the community in innovative ways, bringing musical culture to those around them. Even during a pandemic, the GCO has found new ways to achieve this goal. The school year has changed drastically, but the GCO will still reach elementary school-aged children with a new, free video project that pairs award-winning children’s books with great music.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Nashville Predators Foundation, the GCO’s Magical Music & Timeless Tales offers children in grades 3-5 in Montgomery and Williamson County schools joyful and educational content with these delightful videos.
Each video episode includes a child’s book reading interspersed with specially selected music played by GCO musicians. Supplemental instructional materials prepared by classroom music teachers accompany each video. Episodes will release every other week beginning October 2020 through March 2021 and are accessible through district online resources.
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For more information about the GCO, visit gatewaychamberorchestra.com. The GCO is a nationally-recognized cultural institution committed to enriching lives through innovative concerts, distinctive recordings and inspiring educational programs. Led by Music Director Gregory Wolynec, the GCO performs in two permanent homes – The George & Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville and The Franklin Theatre in Franklin.
Gateway Chamber Orchestra plays their part by staying apart
August 4, 2020
The Gateway Chamber Orchestra has been continuously monitoring the Covid-19 situation in our Middle Tennessee community as we plan our activities for the upcoming season. An important study of how playing various orchestral instruments in different types of venues has just begun to shed light on how we will be able to proceed in the months ahead. Out of an abundance of caution, and with information provided from our recent audience survey, we have decided against scheduling any formal concerts for the remainder of calendar year 2020. That does not mean we won’t be busy finding new ways to delight and educate new and existing audiences. Here is what we plan to do-
We are currently hard at work creating a series of educational videos that pair GCO musicians with elementary classroom music teachers. These videos and corresponding educational materials will be able to provide much needed content for students and schools in our community. Based around renowned children’s stories, each installment will introduce students to music from a wide range of cultures in an engaging fashion that they can share at home with their families. Watch for the unveiling of this series beginning in September.
We are completely committed to presenting concerts during 2021. If the state of the virus allows for traditionally presented programs, then we will look forward to greeting you in both Clarksville and Franklin as we have for years. If we need to adapt, we will be ready to present programs in alternative fashions. This may include social distancing, multiple performances for reduced audiences or video streaming.
These are uncertain times for all of us. We have been the fortunate recipients of an NEA CARES Act grant which is allowing us to support our musicians as they help our communities in new ways. Now more than ever, we need YOUR support to help us continue our mission of enriching lives through innovative concerts, distinctive recordings and inspiring educational programs. We ask that you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help the GCO continue this important work. You can donate at GatewayChamberOrchestra.com or send to Gateway Chamber Orchestra, 2250 Wilma Rudolph Blvd. Suite F, #222, Clarksville, TN 37040.
On behalf of our entire organization, please know how much we look forward to welcoming you back to the concert hall. In the meantime, please accept our best wishes for continued good health and safety as we all face this unprecedented crisis. If we all play our part, we will welcome better days just as soon as possible.
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The GCO is a nationally-recognized cultural institution committed to enriching lives through innovative concerts, distinctive recordings and inspiring educational programs. Conducted by Gregory Wolynec, the GCO performs in two permanent homes – the Franklin Theatre in Franklin and the George & Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville.