The Savannah Philharmonic announced their "re-imagined" 2020-21 schedule on Tuesday with a host of shows at local venue Victory North along with special programs in various Savannah squares and a Halloween event.
The Philharmonic returns on Sept. 7 with a free concert in Chippewa Square as part of their new "Phil in the Squares with Music" series. The concert, which will also be livestreamed on Facebook, will be held on the balcony of The Parker Companies’ office in the square and will feature a quintet of musicians playing selections for those walking through town.
Along with the Squares series, the Philharmonic will also be debuting "Throwback Thursdays" with fan favorite concerts finding new life on the Savannah Philharmonic YouTube channel.
The series will kick off on Sept. 17 with replaying of performances by the Phil of "Candide Overture" by Leonard Bernstein and "Violin Concerto" by Felix Mendelssohn.
"We have re-imagined the experience to provide our community with in-person concerts, streaming performances and broadcast television," said Frances Colón, patron services manager.
Follow-up performances are scheduled for Nov. 25 and Dec. 10 with performances of "Piano Concerto" by George Gerswhin and "Moon River" by Savannah native Johnny Mercer.
SavPhil Live from Victory North will place Philharmonic fans in what is the closest they can get to an actual concert as the chamber ensembles will be set in cabaret-style settings around the Victory North venue.
Tickets for the show are limited to 50 people and are $85 for those coming in-person and $9.95 for those watching online.
The first show, titled "String Theory," will be Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and features Savannah Philharmonic musicians Sinisa Ciric and Ricardo Ochoa on violin, Lizhou Liu on viola and Jessica Messere on cello. Future SavPhil Live from Victory North events will be announced four weeks ahead of the planned show.
On Oct. 18, the Philharmonic has teamed with WTOC, the Trustees’ Garden and the City of Savannah for a spooky version of their annual Picnic in the Park. The pre-recorded show will be broadcast on WTOC from Trustees’ Garden from 5-6 p.m. with special guest Richard Kessler of The Kessler Collection, who will serve as guest conductor.
The event will also feature a Halloween costume contest through the Savannah Philharmonic Instagram page.
"Many people have been asking us about our popular Picnic in the Park event," according to Katherine Poss, development director. "This event traditionally takes place during October in historic Forsyth Park. This year and due to COVID, we have worked hard to find a way to safely present a best-loved community event to Savannah. I’m delighted to announce that the show will go on thanks to the generous support of the City of Savannah, as well as The Trustees Garden and WTOC."
The Savannah Philharmonic canceled the rest of their planned 2019-20 season on March 26, shifting to online options hosted by Savannah Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Keitaro Harada, such as "SavPhil Music Monday." Harada mentioned the possibility of smaller venues with multiple precautions in a recent Do Savannah "Unplugged" column with Bill Dawers.
"The most important part is safety," Harada said, "and I want to make sure everyone involved is safe and can simply enjoy the music."
For more informatiom, visit savannahphilharmonic.org.
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