The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra will kick off its new season in September with new music by East Tennessee composer Mark Harrell and a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
The concert is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24, at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center. It’s the 72nd season for the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association. The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra will be led by Music Director Dan Allcott.
The concert, titled “Pride of Place,” is a celebration of Oak Ridge, especially recognizing the scientists and immigrants who founded this community, a press release said.
Commissioned by the JAZ Fund, Harrell’s “π to the Sky: Tribute to Discovery” is a celebration of the post-World War II generation of Oak Ridge scientists and their numerous accomplishments. The concert will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with Peter Boyer’s moving narrated work, “Ellis Island: The Dream of America.”
Oak Ridge is part of a relatively new national park, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. ORCMA has partnered with the new park to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial birthday.
“The concert ‘Pride of Place’ gives us a chance to celebrate the uniqueness of Oak Ridge and the United States,” Allcott said in a press release. “That pride is alive and well as we celebrate a world premiere written for us by Mark Harrell—’Pi to the Sky’. The concert concludes with ‘Ellis Island: The Dream of America,’ which was programmed to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service. It is a celebration of the immigrant story, which sits in the background of many of our families.”
“We are proud to partner with the National Park Service for this performance,” said Executive Director Rachel Perkins. “To celebrate this special occasion, student groups and their adult chaperones will receive free admission to this performance.”
The National Park Service said that the phrase, “Welcome to Ellis Island!” were the words that millions of immigrants to America heard first.
“Even if they did not understand them at the time, their life was going to change remarkably after they heard this short greeting,” the NPS said.
From 1892-1924, Ellis Island was America’s largest and most active immigration station, where more than 12 million immigrants were processed. On average, the inspection process took approximately three-seven hours.
“For the vast majority of immigrants, Ellis Island truly was an ‘Island of Hope’—the first stop on their way to new opportunities and experiences in America,” a press release said. “For the rest, it became the ‘Island of Tears’—a place where families were separated, and individuals were denied entry into the United States.”
The Oak Ridge High School String Quartet will perform in the lobby before the September 24 concert, and patrons are invited to meet members of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra at a celebratory reception in the lobby after the performance, the ORCMA press release said.
The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is a proud participant in the Penny4Arts program and offers free admission for students 18 and under to all Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performances. Tickets for adults are $25, and young adults, ages 19-29, are just $10. In addition, for this special concert, adult chaperones accompanying student groups may also receive a free ticket. For more information about this opportunity, contact the ORCMA office at (865) 483-5569.
The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series. Subscription and individual tickets may be purchased online at www.ORCMA.org or by calling (865) 483-5569.
Founded in 1948, the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association (ORCMA) serves as the umbrella organization for the professional Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Oak Ridge Chorus, Chamber Music Series, and the Coffee Concert Series.
Support for the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and WUOT FM 91.9.
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