The Rhode Island Philharmonic returns with new, innovative virtual and live offerings for the Orchestra and Music School. In these unprecedented times, the presence of music in people’s lives is more important than ever. For this reason, The Rhode Island Philharmonic will continue its mission to enrich and transform the state and the region through great music performance and education.
During a six-month pause in live performances and in-person teaching, the Philharmonic has explored a variety of ways to use technology to serve the community – while ensuring optimum safety for audience, students, teachers and musicians.
The orchestra’s new season began Sept. 26 at The Vets, making the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra the first orchestra in New England to perform live in concert in over six months – and under the strictest safety measures.
Concerts planned for the first half of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020-21 season will have limited in-person, socially distanced attendance available to subscribers. The orchestra will simultaneously livestream all its concerts in high definition video and audio.
The first-half of the orchestra season runs from September 2020 to February 2021.
The rescheduled season opener on Sept. 26 was an exclusive livestream for season subscribers.
Starting in November, subscribers will also have the opportunity to attend in-person with social distanced seating at The Vets.
The second-half of the season will run from March 2021 through June 2021. Programming, dates and artists will be announced in early 2021, and will be determined in part by how the public health circumstances evolve. The orchestra hopes to be able to increase in-person attendance in March along with continued livestreaming.
“Audiences will experience a different energy in our performances as we explore the repertoire’s finest works for smaller ensembles and solo artists that we don’t typically perform,” said artistic advisor and conductor Bramwell Tovey. “Your RI Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing the great masters of the classical repertoire alongside some of the finest composers of today.”
The RI Philharmonic’s public announcement that the Orchestra is to retake the stage at The Vets comes just days after its season was scheduled to start.
“It was essential to ensure safety protocols for orchestra members, guest artists, and patrons, while at the same time forging a new role for media as we serve our community,” said Executive Director David Beauchesne. “The RI Philharmonic is grateful to Governor Raimondo, and the State of Rhode Island, to The Vets, and to the American Federation of Musicians, the Providence Federation of Musicians and orchestra members for their efforts in making a safe return to the stage, and the safe participation of our audience possible.”
The Vets is taking extreme measures to ensure the facility is sanitary and safe for the public and performers. Seating will be socially distanced, audiences and staff members must wear masks, and there will be symptom checks at the entrance doors.
The musicians union and the RI Philharmonic have agreed to a tentative one-year contract with a COVID-19 side-letter and media guarantees that allow the orchestra to be livestreamed in high definition video and audio for the first time.
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School, while remaining closed presently to in-person attendance, will continue all lessons and classes online.
“The Music School has enjoyed remarkable success with virtual lessons and classes throughout the summer, and expectations are great for the fall semester,” said Music School Director Annette Mozzoni. “We are offering a wide variety of unique classes this fall to enhance our students love for music in new ways. Thank you to our students and families for their continued partnership and to our wonderful faculty for their innovative new lesson plans.”
The RI Philharmonic Music School instantly shifted to live instruction online in March 2020, and the move has been popular with students and their families. Rhode Island Monthly highlighted, in their Best of Rhode Island 2020 list, the efforts of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble to keep kids performing through a spring virtual performance.
The Music School continues to offer a wide variety of enrichment for all. Music Together Online gives families with young children (birth to age 8) the chance to connect with other families for music, laughter and learning together. New online classes like Jazz History and Race in America, Intro to Diction for Singers, and Positive Strategies for Dealing with Negative Habits strengthen the relationship between music and life for students. And, of course, private lessons continue to be available to hone a musician’s skills on any instrument and at any age.
The school and orchestras work in the community continues as well. The Philharmonic’s annual Link Up education concert was distributed digitally in May to over 8,700 area children in grades 3-5.
Fall semester classes and lessons at The Music School have begun, and they are filling up quickly. For more information on the Philharmonic Music School, call 248-7001 or go to riphil.org/musicschool for more information and availability.
To find out more about how to subscribe to this historic, recast Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra season visit riphil.org or call 248.7000
To find out about other offerings coming back on line at The Vets, go to www.thevetsri.com or call (401) 421-ARTS.