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National Symphony Orchestra’s In Your Neighborhood program brings performances and events to East D.C. communities


Sep 1, 2019

SOURCE: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Press Release
August 6, 2019
National Symphony Orchestra’s In Your Neighborhood program brings performances and events to
East D.C. communities
NSO musicians perform in collaboration with
28 neighborhood and artist partners in two full orchestra concerts, two school visits, a masterclass, a neighborhood block party, and 15 chamber ensemble performances, including a celebration of Go-Go
All events are free—September 12–16, 2019
(WASHINGTON)—Musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) perform events across the East D.C. neighborhoods of Kenilworth, Benning Road, Deanwood, Ft. Dupont, Langdon, and East Capitol Hill, as part of the Orchestra’s ninth In Your Neighborhood (IYN), which takes place September 12–16, 2019. These appearances take place during the Kennedy Center’s REACH Opening Festival, offering D.C. and area residents the chance to participate in free live music, art, and cultural events.
The NSO’s In Your Neighborhood mission is to extend access to live music beyond the Kennedy Center, sharing performances with as many people as possible, engaging new audiences, and inspiring the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Developed in partnership with community-based organizations, venues, schools, and local artists, this year’s IYN showcases programs that celebrate the cultural legacy of Marvin Gaye in Washington D.C., and pay homage to Chuck Brown’s iconic genre of music, Go-Go, also native to Washington D.C.
Highlights of the IYN programming in September are the two full NSO concerts, as well as a pre- concert neighborhood block party. At the first full orchestra concert on Thursday, September 12
~ more ~
at 8:00 p.m. at Echostage, NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads a program featuring vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton, who both make their NSO debuts.
The NSO hosts a lunchtime neighborhood block party on Saturday, September 14, at noon at the Kenilworth Recreation Center featuring local small business vendors, food trucks, D.C. Public Library’s Go-Go Tech Truck, an Instrument Petting Zoo, performances from the MusicianShip’s All-City Drumline, and more. Following the block party, the 2 p.m. NSO concert is led by conductor Joseph Young in his NSO debut, and features violinist/vocalist Chelsey Green and The Green Project performing family-friendly familiar tunes and original music. Both public concerts are free.
Among the many venue partners collaborating with the NSO in September are The SEED School of Washington, D.C., WPFW 89.3 Radio, Echostage, Riverside Healthy Living Center – Washington Parks & People, The DC Eagle Bar, City Winery, U.S. National Arboretum, American Job Center – Department of Employment Services, Eastern Senior High School, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, The Washington National Youth Baseball Academy, and the Kenilworth Recreation Center – Department of Parks & Recreation.
In Your Neighborhood is a community engagement initiative that provides free NSO concerts, chamber music performances, master classes, and in-school events for one week in a specific D.C. neighborhood. Through this series, the orchestra uses their talent and creativity to support D.C. communities by producing moments for connection, artistic exchange, and inspiration. The National Symphony Orchestra is committed to providing opportunities for all Washington, D.C. residents to participate in the arts, with the belief that music is for everyone, regardless of age, background or zip code.
Steven Reineke’s boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation’s most sought-after pops conductors, composers, and arrangers. The 2018–2019 season marks his eighth as Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. In that capacity he has broadened the scope of offerings with the NSO on the Pops series, having led performances of a range of genres and style such as Broadway favorites, jazz, Hip Hop, and film scores. In addition, he has created, shows with the NSO for such notable performers as Kendrick Lamar, Common, Nas, Cynthia Erivo, and Seth MacFarlane. His work with the NSO has been featured in national broadcasts on PBS for Renée Fleming’s American Voices and most recently with Nas Live from the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop, as well as live-
streamed performance on Tidal with Common, and the first live performance of an orchestra on NPR’s All Things Considered in February 2017.
Joseph Young is the newly appointed Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony and increasingly recognized as “one of the most gifted conductors of his generation.” He holds the position of the Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Conservatory and recently concluded a four-year tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony during which time he conducted more than 50 concerts per season with the Atlanta Symphony. Young also served as the Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he was the driving force behind the ensemble’s artistic growth. Previous appointments have included Resident Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony and the League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow with Buffalo Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony.
Young made his major American orchestral debut in January 2008 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has since appeared with the San Francisco, Charlotte, Berkeley, Saint Louis, Colorado, Charleston, New World, Detroit, Fayetteville, and Phoenix Symphonies as well as the Buffalo and Savannah Philharmonics, Bamberger Symphoniker, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE (Madrid), Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), and the Chicago Sinfonietta, among others.
With performances often described as passionate, vivacious, electrifying, and innovative, Billboard- charting international recording artist Chelsey Green brings the vibrancy of violin and viola playing and unique, rich vocals to worldwide audiences in a whole new way. A native of Houston, Texas, Dr. Chelsey Green was born into a family of jazz and funk musicians and started her performance career as a violinist at age 5. Green went on to receive a scholarship for classical viola studies at The University of Texas at Austin where she graduated summa cum laude. Continuing her studies, she received a master’s degree from The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland College Park. In August 2017, Green was appointed Associate Professor in the String Department at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
Dr. Chelsey Green and her ensemble, The Green Project, tear down all stereotypes of the violin and viola by fusing traditional classical technique with popular favorites and enticing original songs in various genres, including R&B, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Alternative, Hip Hop, Gospel, and more. Classically soloing in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall at age 16, Chelsey Green and The Green Project have been honored to perform in many highly regarded venues around the world. Green’s varied performance resume includes performances at the CBS Late Show, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the opening of The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Essence Music Festival, Capital Jazz SuperCruise, Port-Au-Prince International Jazz Festival, Kuwait National Opera House, NPR Tiny Desk, Seabreeze Jazz Festival, and more.
Mykal Kilgore is an American Traditions Competition gold medalist, actor and singer/songwriter of A Man Born Black, his highly anticipated debut album to be released later this year. His sound is a gumbo of American roots music and modern feels with the ability to go from Broadway Showtune Storytelling to Soul and Jazz scatting to Gospel. Mykal was most recently seen as The Witch in Into The Woods at Barrington Stage Company. Other theater credits include The Who’s Tommy at The Kennedy Center, Songs For A New World at Encores! Off-Center, Motown the Musical and Hair on Broadway, as well as Book of Mormon (1st National Tour.) He has also appeared in TV/film with roles in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar and The Wiz Live and Collateral Beauty. Mykal’s racked up more than 10 million views on social media with his videos from Scott Bradlee’s Post-Modern Jukebox (PMJ) and his viral “Reclaiming My Time” video. Mykal
has also performed to sold-out audiences at Joe’s Pub, Roseland, Birdland, The Kennedy Center, and in his own cabarets “MYKAL@54Below” and “MYKAL@TheApolloMusicCafe.”
Chances are that you’ve heard the amazing soprano voice of Nova Y. Payton with the internationally staged musical, 3 Mo’ Divas, on television, or in countless regional theater productions across the country. Boasting a prolific catalog of artist collaborations, the former American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) student has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Levi Kreis, Bobby McFerrin, John Michael Higgins, Yolanda Adams, Betsy Wolfe, Michael Uris, and Anthony Hamilton. She has also opened for heavyweights like Ashford and Simpson, Will Downing, Stephanie Mills, Melba Moore, The Chi-Lites, and the Dramatics. Payton has performed in over 150 major cities in the U.S., as well as Canada, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Europe.
This key program of the NSO’s community engagement efforts features the full orchestra and small ensembles in a concentrated series of free performances and educational activities. Events have taken place in schools, churches, restaurants, bars, dance studios, and arts venues. IYN drew inspiration from the NSO’s ongoing community engagement work across the country. From its 2012 launch in the diverse neighborhood of Columbia Heights, IYN has grown in scale and scope, from reaching 3,000 people to more than 11,000 per year, from 30 activities in one week to more than 50 throughout the year, and from 20 to nearly 30 community partners. IYN has gained in recognition and profile, with years involving the NSO’s Music Director and Principal Pops Conductor, as well as bolder format experimentation such as full orchestra concerts at Union Station, the Basilica, and concert venue Echostage.
The 2018–2019 season marks the National Symphony Orchestra’s 88th, and Gianandrea Noseda’s second as its music director. The Italian conductor serves as the Orchestra’s seventh music director, joining the NSO’s legacy of such distinguished leaders. Its artistic leadership also includes Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and Artistic Advisor Ben Folds.
Founded in 1931, the Orchestra has always been committed to artistic excellence and music education. In 1986, the National Symphony became an artistic affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where it performs year-round. The NSO’s community engagement projects are nationally recognized, including NSO In Your Neighborhood, an annual week of approximately 50 performances in schools, churches, community centers, and other unexpected venues; Notes of Honor, which offers free performances for active, veteran, prior service, and retired members of the military and their families; and Sound Health, a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its affiliated organizations. Career development opportunities for young musicians include the NSO Youth Fellowship Program and its tuition-free Summer Music Institute.
For more information, visit nationalsymphony.org. EVENT INFORMATION
Thursday, September 12
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – IN-SCHOOL PERFORMANCE (private)
The SEED School
Jamie Roberts (oboe), Joey Grimmer (bassoon), and Jamila Tekalli (keyboard) visit the SEED School, a college-preparatory public boarding school, to perform a chamber concert for the 8th–12th grade students, families, and teachers. This event is closed to the public.
American Job Center
4058 Minnesota Avenue NE
NSO Principal Harp Adriana Horne supports the day-to-day activities of staff and job seekers at the U.S. Department of Labor’s American Job Center with a solo performance.
1:00 – 2:00 PM – COMMUNITY PERFORMANCE (private)
Allen House Senior Apartments
Peter Cain (bass clarinet) and Sara Matayoshi (violin) perform a concert for the senior residents of Allen House Apartments. This event is closed to the public.
3:00 – 4:00 PM – ON-AIR INTERVIEW
WPFW 89.3 FM Radio
Tune into WPFW’s “Jazz and Justice” radio show hosted by pianist and founder of the D.C. Women in Jazz Festival, Amy Bormet to learn more about the In Your Neighborhood community engagement initiative and upcoming performances.
2135 Queens Chapel Rd NE
The NSO returns to Echostage for a full orchestra concert led by NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke. This high-energy program features vocal soloists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a symphonic and R&B/soul program. This concert is standing room only. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the pre-show starts at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, September 13
The DC Eagle Bar
3701 Benning Road NE
One of Washington D.C.’s oldest and largest LGBTQ bars (est. 1971) hosts a chamber performance on its indoor stage during happy hour headlined by NSO bass quartet Jeffrey Weisner, Charles Nilles, Alexander Jacobsen, and William Wasson.
Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy
3675 Ely Place SE
Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, a community-based organization that uses baseball and softball to foster positive character development and academic achievement hosts an NSO string quartet performing for students, families, and the general public in their “All-Star Pavilion.” This event is outdoors. In the event of inclement weather this event will take place indoors.
Saturday, September 14
Kenilworth Recreation Center – outdoor parking lot
4321 Ord Street NE
In 2017, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled the newly renovated expansion of the Kenilworth Recreation Center. As the Department of Parks and Recreation’s newest community center, it was designed to be eco- friendly and energy-efficient. To highlight the city’s continued commitment of support for economic development in Ward 7, the NSO hosts a Neighborhood Block Party at Kenilworth Recreation Center in advance of a full orchestra concert. Activities will include local small business vendors, food trucks, D.C. Public Library’s Go-Go Tech Truck, an Instrument Petting Zoo, performances from the MusicianShip’s All-City Drumline and more!
Kenilworth Recreation Center
4321 Ord Street NE
Conductor Joseph Young make his debut with the NSO in a performance in the gymnasium at Kenilworth Recreation Center. This program features violinist/vocalist Chelsey Green and The Green Project in a wide-ranging program that includes excerpts from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony; pieces by Jonathan Bailey Holland, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Duke Ellington; a Sousa march; a remix of Gershwin’s “Summertime,” and more. Seating is first-come, first-served and space is limited. Doors open at 1:30p.m.
The Riverside Center
5200 Foote Street NE
The Riverside Center—formerly known as the Crystal Room nightclub—is the historic site of Marvin Gaye’s professional singing debut, and now serves as a healthy food incubator space, bike repair station, and community programming venue. A string quartet pays homage to the district’s legacy of Marvin Gaye in an intimate performance of selected arrangements featuring local favorite Cecily, a vocalist, songwriter, and 2019 Best Soul Album Wammie Award winner. Seating is first-come, first-served, and space is limited.
Sunday, September 15
City Winery
1350 Okie Street NE
With a mantra of “Indulge the Senses,” City Winery specializes in combining culinary and cultural experiences for music lovers to enjoy sounds, smells, tastes, and views all at once. City Winery hosts an NSO string quintet of Nurit Bar-Josef (violin), Angelia Cho (violin), Daniel Foster (viola), Chiara Dieguez (viola), and Loewi Lin (cello) during weekend brunch in the Wine Garden. Patrons have the option to purchase brunch while enjoying the free performance. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Freshe Café
601 Division Avenue NE
NSO musicians perform an afternoon concert at this community-based farm-to-table café, which also doubles as a culinary arts training location for local youth and adults. Seating is first-come, first-served, and space is limited.
Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library
3935 Benning Road NE
Explore the unique sound of violin re-identified with Chelsey Green and The Green Project as they dare to break the barriers between multiple musical worlds. In a workshop designed for non-musicians and musicians alike to introduce audiences of all ages to the infinite possibilities of violin performance within live music, Green takes audiences on a journey through music history—from classical to jazz to pop— showcasing how music can transform lives through the power of personal creativity.
The United States National Arboretum
3501 New York Avenue NE
The U.S. National Arboretum is a public garden, research facility, and urban green space comprising 446 acres. A wind quintet—Leah Arsenault Barrick (flute), Jamie Roberts (oboe), Kristin Bowers (clarinet), Sam Blair (bassoon), and Robert Rearden (horn) performs outdoors on the lawn. Audiences are encouraged to bring blankets and outdoor chairs to enjoy the concert. In the event of inclement weather, this event will take place in the Visitors Center Auditorium.
Chuck Brown Memorial Park
2901 20th Street NE
Go-Go, a subgenre of funk music, was born out of Washington D.C.’s rich cultural history. Paying homage to this legacy made popular by American guitarist, bandleader, and singer Chuck Brown nicknamed “The Godfather of Go-Go,” the NSO presents a chamber concert in collaboration with the GoGo Symphony, featuring Aaron Goldman (flute), Amy McCabe (trumpet), Wei-Ping Chou (horn), and Stephen Dumaine (tuba) alongside Go-Go legends Mighty Moe Hagans and JuJu House, performing in the plaza at Chuck Brown Memorial Park. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled.
8:40– 9:15 AM – IN-SCHOOL PERFORMANCE (private)
Ron Brown College Preparatory High School
Named after the first African-American U.S. Commerce Secretary, Ron Brown Prep—a school created for male students of color—first opened its doors in 2016 as a part of D.C. Public Schools’s “Empowering Males of Color” initiative. To kick off the school year celebrating the first-ever graduating class of 2020, NSO violinists Heather LeDoux Green and Ben Scott join students during their daily Community Circle for a performance and Q&A. This event is closed to the public.
American Job Center
4058 Minnesota Avenue NE
NSO trio featuring Jamie Roberts (oboe), Joey Grimmer (bassoon), and Jamila Tekalli (keyboard) support the day-to-day activities of staff and job seekers at the U.S. Department of Labor’s American Job Center with a performance.
Marvin Gaye Recreation Center
15 61st St NE
Curated in collaboration with the NSO’s Community Advisory Group (consisting of local artists, arts organizations, and community members) this event features a chamber performance interspersed with audio of oral histories and visuals related to the history of arts and artists in Ward 7. This performance
encourages audiences to reflect on the dynamics of a changing city through the lens of music, arts, and culture.
Eastern Senior High School
1700 East Capitol Street NE
Serving grades 9–12, Eastern High School has a historic legacy of advocating for students and families through rigorous academics and a plethora of extra-curricular activities. A string quartet performs a chamber concert at the main entrance of the school. This event is outdoors. Audiences are encouraged to bring blankets and outdoor chairs to enjoy the performance. In the event of inclement weather, this event will take place in the Auditorium.
All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Seating limited to capacity. Some events require advance (free) registration. All events/artists/programs are subject to change and/or cancellation without prior notice.
NSO In Your Neighborhood is presented as part of
The Irene Pollin Audience Development and Community Engagement Initiatives.
Major support for NSO In Your Neighborhood is provided by Wells Fargo, Linda and Tobia Mercuro, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and Tina and Albert Small, Jr.
Additional support is provided by Melanie and Larry Nussdorf and Dr. Michael Angell. David M. Rubenstein is the Presenting Underwriter of the NSO.
Rachelle Roe
(202) 416-8443 rbroe@kennedy-center.org
Iain Higgins
(202) 416-8442 imhiggins@kennedy-center.org