Maestra Marin Alsop conducts a diverse array of American orchestra musicians in a virtual brass and percussion fanfare celebrating the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The 14 musicians involved in this Hope and Harmony Ensemble represent orchestras around the country and the Peabody Institute, whose faculty artist Velvet Brown plays tuba in the ensemble. The performance can be found on YouTube
"It's a privilege to pay tribute to this new leadership team and celebrate this historic moment in America" Alsop, Peabody's director of the graduate conducting program, said in a news release from Classical Movements, the nearly 30-year-old touring orchestra that organized the performance. Classical Movements reached out to musicians from the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, South Asian Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Utah Symphony, in addition to Peabody's Brown. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl is also part of the ensemble.
The seven-minute video features footage of masetra Alsop and those 14 musicians performing from their studios and home cities, edited together with stirring images from across the nation. They perform Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," with its indelible swell of hopeful brass and steadfast timpani and bass drums, to honor the American people and Biden. In recognition of Harris, America's first African-American and Asian-American woman elected to the vice presidency, the ensemble performs Joan Tower's "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 1." It is one of six pieces in a series that the pioneering American composer started in the late 1980s and is dedicated to Alsop, under whose direction the ensemble turns the rousing work into a celebration of pioneering women.
"Our performance is an uplifting and powerful tribute to every strong and hopeful American," Brown said in the news release. "While working on this performance, I felt the weight of those that have come before me that did not have this opportunity. I feel the responsibility to make sure that everyone from all walks of life will be proud of my contributions and I feel empowered because I am performing for them."
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