With all ticketed concerts and education and community programs suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nashville Symphony has expanded its presence online with a diverse array of entertainment and music education offerings on NashvilleSymphony.org and via the organization’s social networks.
These online resources – which include performances by orchestra musicians from their homes, lectures and demonstrations by Symphony conductors, teaching tools, at-home education activities, archived concerts and more – are enabling the organization continue its service to the Middle Tennessee community and engage, inspire and educate audiences in a new and creative way.
“This pandemic has forced all of us to adapt and find innovative ways to stay connected with each other until we can resume public activity,” said Alan D. Valentine, Symphony president and CEO. “Present circumstances prevent us from performing in our concert hall, but thanks to the resilience and creativity of our staff and musicians, these dynamic resources enable us to continue offering our programming to music lovers in our own community and around the world.”
Expanding the Symphony’s virtual entertainment and music education offerings has been a collaborative effort, with input and contributions from the orchestra’s 80-plus musicians, Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, Principal Pops Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez, and Nashville Symphony Chorus Director Tucker Biddlecombe, as well as Symphony staff, board members and volunteers, and the general public.
The Symphony’s website serves as the centerpiece of the virtual experience, with content added regularly to a trio of dedicated landing pages:
Get to know the gifted and versatile musicians of the Nashville Symphony as they perform from their homes, both individually and collectively. Highlights include:
- Amazing Grace by members of the orchestra’s viola section;
- Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote by trumpeter Alec Blazek;
- Duets by some of the orchestra’s married couples;
- Symphony violist Clare Yang’s foray into learning the banjo.
Spend time with Maestro Guerrero and enjoy archives of his twice-weekly social media videos, where he dives into classical repertoire and shares his own perspectives as a musician and conductor, featuring:
- “Beethoven Explained” lecture series, in which Guerrero explores each of the master’s nine symphonies in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday;
- An exploration of the Tenth Symphony of one Guerrero’s favorite conductors – Gustav Mahler – modeled around the Music Director’s traditional pre-concert lectures;
- Previews of upcoming Nashville Symphony album releases, with special guests including composers and Nashville Symphony musicians;
- A fun and interactive conducting class for all ages.
To help parents at home with school-age children, the Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement team has compiled music education resources and activities that families can engage in together, including:
- Full lesson plans on various instrument families, with flash cards, engaging questions, musical listening assignments and more;
- Instructions on how to make instruments like pan flutes, hand drums, banjos and oboes with simple household objects;
- A curriculum packet exploring the history and role of women in classical music, with accompanying videos featuring members of the orchestra.
Supplementing the offerings on NashvilleSymphony.org is an array of fun and engaging content on the organization’s social networks, which reach thousands each week.