Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony gearing up for three-concert season in Lansdale

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra is shown during a performance. Courtesy photo.

FRANCONIA -- After 217 days without a performance, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra returns on Saturday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m.

"The 2020-2021 Season of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra has been reimagined! SPSO will present one-hour concerts streamed right into your home — LIVE — on YouTube at no charge. Join us for an innovative way to experience our music-making!," SPSO said in a release.

“If ever there was a time for music, it is now,” said Music Director Allan R. Scott. “We are not trying to duplicate or replicate the concert hall experience but innovate the experience of our music-making. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra was created for these very difficult times. Our music-making exists to literally save lives and to promote the spiritual and emotional well-being of our people. Despite the very different format, we will strive to continue to make lives better through music.”

Following safety guidelines from public health officials, concerts will be performed without an audience in the concert hall at the performing arts center at Dock Academy in Franconia (the former Penn View campus).

“SPSO is grateful to have the continued support of Dock Academy,” says SPSO President Kiran Padgaonkar. “This partnership helps bring the artistic excellence of the Symphony’s music-making to people in the safety of their homes.”

The safety of musicians is also critically important. Musicians will be appropriately socially distant and all safety measures in place in accordance with recent studies on orchestral performances for musicians.

Grammy Award-nominated Philadelphia composer Kile Smith will host the initial livestream featuring music by American composers Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber.

"Nearly two dozen of the 65 players of the SPSO will bring music of American legends to the opening SPSO LIVEstream! on Saturday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m.," the release said. "Titled 'Music for A Quiet City,' the performance features music that allows us to heal, remember, reflect, and hope. Copland’s 'Quiet City' depicts the stillness of our streets, and Barber’s emotional 'Adagio for Strings' captures our heartbreaks and sorrows as we remember those suffering or who have been lost during the pandemic. The performance leaves us with the true American spirit of possibilities and a better tomorrow through Copland’s enduring and popular Appalachian Spring."

The SPSO LIVEstream! concerts can be viewed at no charge on a smart phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computers, smart televisions, and televisions connected to the internet — or anywhere you have access to YouTube. Most televisions offer YouTube as an app or can be attached to another computing device to watch on the big screen.

"While nothing can replace the experience of attending a live performance, the live stream offers an exciting and new way to enjoy a concert. Each stream will be multi-camera shoot offering close-up shots of musicians, front-side views of Maestro Scott, and visuals that are not possible by sitting in the auditorium. Host Kile Smith will also lead backstage interviews during intermission. We are excited to present the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra in a more personal, up-close manner," the release said.

While there is no charge, there will be an option available online to make a donation to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra.

It is the regional professional orchestra for Montgomery and Bucks counties and surrounding regions and features several performances throughout the year of the great masterworks of symphonic music with world-renowned guest artists.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1972 as the North Penn Symphony Orchestra. It was created to provide performances of the highest caliber to entertain and educate audiences, and to enhance, enrich, and expand the cultural lives of the residents of the North Penn area. In 2008, the Board of Directors rechristened the orchestra the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra to reflect its new regional focus, professionalism, and vision.

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