Through our first-ever Summer Concert Series, we aimed to reunite musicians hit hard by the pandemic with music lovers yearning to hear them perform, by creating radio specials and accompanying videos, recorded and filmed live in the CapRadio Garden so we could observe COVID-19 safety protocols. Our top priority was to provide a platform for local musicians from underrepresented groups (people of color, women, the LGBT community).
Six ensembles performed during three audio and video recording sessions in May 2021. We packaged these performances, along with artist interviews, into six weekly one-hour concert specials which aired on KXPR in June and July 2021. (We now host these specials on our website for on-demand listening.) We also shared six full-length videos of each performance on YouTube, six single-song video features on Instagram, and trailers promoting each special on digital and social platforms.
Diverse performers brought their unique perspectives to the series:
– Chevalier Quartet and clarinetist Deborah Pittman gave a performance featuring all Black composers, piggybacking on a film project highlighting the life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a Black man that wrote classical music in the 1700s.
– Soprano Carrie Hennessey and tenor Taylor Thompson performed works by female composers and poetry by Kendell A, a transgender poet. Taylor spoke about his experiences navigating the world of opera as a Black man.
– Clarinetist Brennen Milton and pianist Carol Chueng performed selections from the traditional classical canon as well as living American and Japanese composers. Brennen described his journey to Carnegie Hall as a Black man.
– Pianists Sakurako Kanemitsu and Erina Saito performed works by living Asian composers and dedicated their programs to the end of violence against Asians.
– Harpist Dr. Beverly Hoehn and flutist Elizabeth Coronata celebrated the CapRadio Garden setting with a performance of Hovhaness’s Garden of Adonis.
– Soprano Ann Moss and violinist/guitarist Justin Ouellet performed music by LGBT composer Ricki Ian Gordon. Ann shared, “The program is full of vignettes of the pandemic from the artist’s perspective: what challenged us, what inspired us, what we lost and what we learned – and what we will take forward into an uncertain future, with a sense of hope.”