LOCAL STUDENT MUSICIANS COLLABORATE TO PROFESSIONALLY RECORD THEIR OWN, BERNSTEIN-INSPIRED, FIVE-MOVEMENT SCORE
Mann Connects KIPP Dubois Collegiate Academy, String Theory Charter School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Students to Compose Suite as Part of The Art of Songwriting
WHAT: As part of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts’ Community Festival, Brilliantly Bernstein: Beyond the Baton, Nolan Williams, Jr., the Mann’s festival artistic director and CEO of NEWorks Productions, conceived The Art of Songwriting: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a two-phase residency for creative students from diverse racial, economic and cultural backgrounds to compose new musical works that explore the nation's history and its ongoing struggle to become a more perfect union.
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the students will be in-studio to professionally record the five-movement composition inspired by Bernstein’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Student musicians from KIPP Dubois Collegiate Academy, String Theory Charter School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School worked with Darin Atwater, world-renowned composer and the Mann's commissioned composer for their 2018 festival concert Bernstein: Broadway & Beyond, to build the movement, which explores what it means to be a minority in today's America with specific emphasis on moving from fear to freedom. The students worked together to arrange and prepare the piece for recording and live performances.
A short documentary will also be filmed during the recording session to highlight the collaborative process of bringing students together to create a work that transcends differences and unites to inspire social change.
The Mann’s 2018 community festival is under the direction of Williams, one of the country’s foremost producers of inspirational arts programming, and Naomi Gonzalez, director of education and community engagement for the Mann.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 7
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Rittenhouse Soundworks
219 W. Rittenhouse Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144
• This spring, The Art of Songwriting’s phase one guided scholar-artists in studying the content and structure of the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue libretto. With Darin Atwater and Nolan Williams, Jr., the students explored principles of song composition and instrumental arranging as tools that give poetic voice and expression to their thoughts about social justice, informed by their personal experiences.
• This fall, phase two has included scholar-artists at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy, String Theory Charter School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, led by teaching-artists Greg Corbin and Jawanza Kobie. This phase concludes with the young creatives spending time in a professional music studio to record their compositions.
About the Mann
As one of the foremost outdoor music centers in the country, the Mann, a leading non-profit organization, has a historical legacy of artistic excellence as a world-class entertainment destination presenting premier artists in association with The Bowery Presents. Each summer season, renowned symphony orchestras, iconic rock stars and the latest touring artists in indie rock, hip hop, R&B and pop take the stage here. The Mann is the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra and has presented critically acclaimed performers in every decade since the 1930s. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Mann hosts more than 200,000 visitors annually. Signature concert experiences are surrounded by Philadelphia’s stunning skyline and include seats beneath the Mann’s acoustically acclaimed pavilion; picnics, blankets and music under the stars on its great lawn; and dining in Crescendo, the venue’s spectacular tented restaurant. For more information, visit www.manncenter.org.
About NEWorks Productions
As one of the country's premiere producers of inspirational arts programming, NEWorks Productions partners with leading humanitarian, educational, arts, and renowned institutions to present curatorial festivals, concert productions, special events, and other signature projects that leverage the power of music and the arts for community engagement and social good. Past and present partners include: The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera, the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Georgetown University, Oberlin College, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, the Embassy of India, the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa, the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the world class Philadelphia Orchestra. www.NEWorksProductions.com.