One of the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra's marquee events was themed on Tuesday.

The annual Picnic in the Park, slated for Oct. 6 in Forsyth Park, will be themed “Color Your World With Music,” according to a press release. The annual free concert is presented in part by the City of Savannah and is an afternoon and evening of music and free family fun.

The community-wide event will recognize National Arts and Humanities Month by featuring pre-concert performances with students from Savannah Chatham Public Schools, featuring Savannah Arts Academy Orchestra, Savannah High School Band and Savannah College of Art & Design’s “Honey Bees.”

 

The “Color Your World With Music,” theme will be embraced by attendees who participate in the treasured tradition of “best decorated picnic site” contest on the day of the event. A social media competition, held in July, invited members of the community to submit theme ideas inspired by the enchanted word kaleidoscope. This year’s theme contest winner, Lucinda Shultz, won a $100 Enmarket gift card for her submission of “Color Your World With Music.”

“The themed picnic competition is truly an exciting part of the activities and is wildly popular with the community,” Executive Director for the Savannah Philharmonic Terri O’Neil said. “Whether folks create an elaborate picnic setting fit for competition or simply throw out a blanket, everyone enjoys strolling through the park to see the fantastic displays of decorated picnic sites. We hope everyone decides to share in this year’s dazzling kaleidoscope of color and wonderful musical events. Free and open to the public, this annual tradition is our gift to the citizens of Savannah and the surrounding communities!”

In the spirit of this fun-filled event, attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnics or take advantage of one of the on-site local food and beverage vendors, then join in the celebration by decorating their picnic sites with their own version of a magical, kaleidoscope of color.

Anyone interested in entering the best picnic contest, should register at the Enmarket tent, in sponsor row, no later than 6:15 p.m. Judging will take place during the first half of the concert and winners announced about 8 p.m.

Thanks to the Savannah Philharmonic’s long-standing partnership with the 3rd Infantry Division, there will once again be a patriotic repertoire featuring the Color Guard, U.S. Army Big Band, as well as the traditional canon fire to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture as a dramatic culmination of the evening. Savannah Philharmonic will take Center Stage at 7 p.m., to perform a variety of musical genres conducted by highly acclaimed guest conductor, Gene Chang, with the grand finale set for approximately 9 p.m. The Philharmonic’s performance will be preceded by a video featuring the orchestra’s newly appointed Music and Artistic Director Designate, Keitaro Harada, as he welcomes audiences to Picnic in the Park and introduces Maestro Chang.

Korean-American conductor Gene Chang is rapidly gaining recognition for a brand of music-making that combines unbridled emotional intensity with probing intellectualism. He has been praised by critics for his "captivating elegance" and "passionate and thoughtful" approach to music and has received rave reviews for his work across the entire repertory, from Bach to Ellington.

Additionally, as a part of the ongoing collaboration between two Savannah-based musical nonprofit organizations, American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) silver medalist and VOICE Festival singer, Emily Yocum Black, will perform with the Savannah Philharmonic during their concert.

Since its inception over 30 years ago, Picnic in the Park has served as one of Savannah’s most popular and well-attended community events, attracting nearly 20,000 attendees to historic Forsyth Park each October. Free and open to the public, this event is a true collaboration with the City of Savannah, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, local colleges, and several corporate and community partners, as well as the 3rd ID and veteran groups.

 

Join the chorus

Additionally, The Savannah Philharmonic will hold auditions throughout its 2019-20 season, giving vocalists the opportunity to join the Chorus, according to a press release.

Auditions for Chorus members who wish to renew their involvement will be held Tuesday, Sept. 3. Auditions for singers interested in joining the Chorus will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, 14, and Jan. 4. All auditions will take place at The Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, 1802 Abercorn St. Rehearsals for the Chorus are held 7 – 9 p.m. every Tuesdays at Savannah Arts Academy, 500 Washington Ave.

When singers become a part of Savannah Philharmonic’s Chorus, they will join a group of orchestral musicians and singers under the direction of newly appointed Chorusmaster McDowell Fogle. Singers will have access to section leaders and professional vocal coaches who can help develop their singing voice, will have the chance to learn great choral masterworks and new commissions, and can participate in volunteer activities as Philharmonic Ambassadors. Chorales will perform at the Lucas Theatre, the Johnny Mercer Theatre, and other local venues.

The audition is a chance for the Chorusmaster to hear singers’ voices and assess their fit into the Chorus. The auditioner should be prepared to sing a major scale and phrase from a well-known tune, a cappella. The process will then follow with a short rhythm, a sight singing, and a couple of music theory questions. 

“Not only am I excited about this season of new beginnings at Savannah Philharmonic, but I will thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to expand our chorus talents,” said Chorusmaster McDowell Fogle. “I look forward to seeing the wonderful forte of Savannah singers at our upcoming auditions!”

To learn more about the Savannah Philharmonic, visit savannahphilharmonic.org, email info@savannahphilharmonic.org, or call 912-232-6002.