Philharmonic Association musicians have the opportunity to perform in at least two large concerts a year, and our audiences have dozens of opportunities to hear our youth musicians perform great music. With so many opportunities to play and to hear great music, it can be easy to forget how special and powerful orchestral music is.
Looking back at the work done by this year’s Holiday Ensemble Program this past month, we are reminded of the special gift that orchestral music is to give and to receive. During the month of December, sixty-three Philharmonic Association members from TYO, TYS, TYP, and Sinfonia volunteered to participate in our Holiday Ensemble Program. These sixty-three musicians rehearsed several times as a group, and then were divided into ensembles of varying sizes to perform for eight local nursing homes and retirement communities. In just two short weeks, our holiday musicians brought music to over 250 individuals. Many of these individuals would not otherwise have access to live orchestral music.
After one performance at a memory care unit, we were thanked enthusiastically by an elderly woman who said over and over again how incredible our performance had been and how grateful she was. We received similar praises from audience members at each performance. Many listeners reminisced on times they’d seen great symphonies perform, and thanked us for making it possible for them to enjoy the music of an orchestral ensemble. Several of our audience members told us that they’d been musicians or music teachers for for forty or fifty years and that seeing our youth musicians perform was a beautiful gift to them.
After our initial performance at Cary Towne Center, we were approached by an an elderly couple. The woman told us that she had been a church organist for forty years, but that she was no longer able to perform due to her cancer. She was in tears when she told us what a blessing the performance was to her.
It was incredibly inspiring to see the huge difference that our holiday performances made in the lives of our listeners. Our organization is passionate about using music to serve and impact the community, and we are pleased with the impact made by our Holiday Ensembles Program. We appreciate the work of the musicians and parents who participated in the program, and the welcome we received from the staff at each of our performance locations.
We hope that each of our holiday musicians will begin the second half of the 2019-20 season with the knowledge of how special and powerful their music is.Catch a clip of one of the performances: