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National Symphony Orchestra in Your Community Coming to Shaw/U Street in January


Photo by PoPville flickr user sarahcottontail

From a press release:

The National Symphony Orchestra will make U Street, Howard University, Shaw, and Logan Circle the focus of its free community engagement activities in January 2013. Between January 8 and 14, members of the NSO will break into small ensembles to perform chamber music and educational activities as requested by approximately 20 community organizations. The NSO’s performances during this period will be free of charge, thanks to a gift from Irene Pollin.

Among the partners are Howard University, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of its music department; D.C. Public Schools; the U Street Neighborhood Association; Florida Avenue Baptist Church; and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The majority of the schedule will be determined by the community itself, with the partner organizations gathering requests from their neighborhoods. An opening event on January 8 is tentatively planned at the Howard Theatre. More information will be available in early November.

There are two other key activities determined as the framework for the week. No visit to this area would be complete without a performance at Lincoln Theatre, where Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and D.C.’s own Duke Ellington have performed. The NSO has planned a special family day for Saturday, January 12, 2013. The Women’s Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra will present the ever-popular “Instrument Petting Zoo” prior to an NSO performance of the enduring children’s favorite Peter and the Wolf led by Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl.

The culminating event in the will be a concert by the full NSO at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium, January 14, at 7 p.m. which will be led by NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach and NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke. The celebrated soprano Jessye Norman, a graduate of Howard
University, will perform, and the program will include the Washington premiere of George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 4, co-commissioned by the NSO. Walker, who was born in D.C., gave his first public recital at the age of 14 in Howard University’s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, and attended the Junior Division of Howard University’s Music Department.

The 2013 community engagement activities are made possible in part by a generous gift from Irene Pollin.

NSO in Your Neighborhood U St./Howard/Shaw follows on the heels of last year’s successful event in Columbia Heights. Over the course of five days, members of the NSO took part in more than two dozen events at Columbia Heights schools, churches, community centers, restaurants, and bars. The full orchestra concert took place at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus.

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