"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain"
This Q & A interview highlights the National Symphony Orchestra's contribution to the music scene in our local community and the historical music collaboration featuring Manuel López-Gómez, conductor: Liam Teague, steelpan, plays Akiho: New work for Steelpan and Orchestra.
CAISO: As manager of the Manager of Community Relations with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO),what do you enjoy most about your position?
Of the many things I enjoy about my position, a few things top the list:
a) getting to know the broad range of people, organizations and venues of the District,
b) making meaningful connections with the DC community and the National Symphony Orchestra, and
c) witnessing the sheer joy on the faces of children, families and adults experiencing the beauty of classical music.
CAISO: What is your plan to showcase entertainment that the public audience is not familiar with?
We’ve created a rhythm-themed program, with which we will surround this fascinating new piece – including really familiar and exciting music from Gershwin and Bernstein.
CAISO: Can you tell us about the NSO in your neighborhood initiative and list upcoming events?
NSO In Your Neighborhood is annual project that features the National Symphony and its musicians in free community concerts throughout DC. In one week, one may find members of the NSO performing in schools, churches, community centers, homeless shelters, hospitals and even night clubs. We will soon announce our next neighborhood.
CAISO: How is this year’s Rhythms of America musical event unique?
It’s the first time the NSO has featured the steelpan as a solo instrument in a concerto we have especially commissioned for the occasion.
CAISO: The NSO has a robust performance schedule of events. What makes the mytix program so unique?
For fans of the arts who are 18‒30 years old or active duty members of the armed services, the MyTix program provides discount offers, free ticket giveaways, and a sense of community that strive to make National Symphony Orchestra concerts—as well as other Kennedy Center events—both accessible and affordable.
CAISO: Mindfulness Mediation and Music is important to us. How is the NSO’s Sound Health initiative making a difference in our local community?
The Sound Health program sends NSO musicians into local hospitals including lobby concerts, instrument petting zoos, special events, and in-patient room visits. While not formal music therapy, the benefits of live performance have been therapeutic, reducing stress and providing enjoyment for patients, medical staff, families and visitors.
CAISO: What career development opportunities does the NSO offer?
The NSO offers several programs which focus on career development for young musicians, namely the Youth Fellowship Program, Summer Music Institute, Young Soloists’ Competition and Young Associates’ Program. All of these programs use the resource of the musicians of the orchestra, offering access to professionals who can share their expertise and skills with those interested in pursuing music at a higher level. The Summer Music Institute is a national program which is also open to locals while the other three are for local young musicians only. Check out the details of each of the programs in the attached link.
CAISO: How can people get connected with NSO on social media?