Symphony to offer web concerts for ’20-’21 season

Reggie Ellis

Sequoia Symphony Orchestra offers web concerts, tentatively plans outdoor concert for April 2021

TULARE COUNTY – The symphony has made several transformations in the last decade. It started its popular cinema series, where the score of a classic film is played while showing the movie, in 2013. It changed its name from the Tulare County Symphony to the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra in 2017. And this year it’s musicians will perform their craft on the small screen beginning this month, streaming their concerts onto your TV, tablet or phone.

“This season is truly unlike any other season in our 61-year history and it’s going to help elevate the Sequoia Symphony to the next level as an institution,” symphony executive director Joshua Banda wrote in a message to ticket holders and community members.

This Friday, Oct. 16, the symphony will launch its new web series “Musical Uplink.” The program includes free content released through its website twice each month between October 2020 and April 2021, except in December, due to the holidays, and in February. Banda did say the symphony has tentatively planned a major outdoor, season-ending concert for April 2021.

The symphony has partnered with local Go Creative Group, a digital campaign and content creator, to produce short films of a variety of orchestral pieces. Similar to live symphony concerts, you will hear music of some of your favorite composers introduced by musical director Bruce Kiesling with historical context and cultural vignettes. Recorded with safety precautions, you’ll see musicians in masks and socially distanced. But the music is there, with striking visuals that give you a view of our orchestra as you’ve never seen. Up close and personal, sweeping views and interesting angles, these videos are not just films of the orchestra playing, but have been specifically designed for each individual work to complement and enhance the auditory experience.

The first episode will be an introduction helping to explain to symphonyphiles what to expect, where to access the virtual concerts, release dates and more.

“At the moment there’s not much more I can share about the April event but we’re going to make sure it’s unlike anything else we’ve done before and I will give you more information once we can share the details,” Banda said.

The web series is part of a digital season planned to replace the symphony’s in-person concerts at the Visalia Fox Theatre, which have been canceled for the rest of the season and will resume next fall.

“We can’t wait to get back to the stage with you but the current guidelines for reopening are preventing us from doing so and, as you can imagine, it’s very difficult to plan for in-person events when we’re currently not allowed to do so,” Banda said.

Musical Uplink is completely free and there will not be any tickets sold for the upcoming season but season ticket holders will have their seats saved for the 2021-22 season. The decision does leave the symphony without income for Music Director Bruce Kiesling or the musicians, so Banda is asking the community to donate during this digital season. Those who do will have their dollars go twice as far after a generous supporter has offered to match every dollar donated up to $100,000. Maybe the largest donation ever.

“This season the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra will be reaching more people in our community, and beyond, than ever before with our Musical Uplink series and we need your help to do it,” Banda said.

For more information on the symphony, visit www.sequoiasymphonyorchestra.com.

Our release schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, Oct. 16 – Announcement Video/Introduction to Musical Uplink (what to expect, where to access, release dates, etc.)
  • Friday, Oct. 23 – Musical Uplink Ep. 1: Piston, Divertimento
  • Friday, Oct. 30 – Musical Uplink Ep. 2: Walker, Lyric for Strings
  • Friday, Nov. 6 –  Musical Uplink Ep. 3: Price, Suite of Dances
  • Friday, Nov. 20 –  Musical Uplink Ep. 4: Copland, Shaker Melody from Appalachian Spring
  • Friday, Dec. 11 –  Musical Uplink Ep. 5: Michael W. Smith, All is Well feat. Brandon Pasion
  • Friday, Jan. 8 – Musical Uplink Ep. 6: Stravinsky, Dumbarton Oaks Movement 1
  • Friday, Jan. 22 –  Musical Uplink Ep. 7: Prokofiev, American Overture
  • Friday, Feb. 12 –  Musical Uplink Ep. 8
  • Friday, March 12 – Musical Uplink Ep. 9
  • Friday, April 9 –  Musical Uplink Ep. 10

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