The Savannah Philharmonic may not be able to put on large concerts at the Lucas Theatre right now, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped them from finding fresh ways to bring music to the people.
"I think it just makes us be more creative,’ said Amy Williams, Executive Director of Savannah Philharmonic.
The Philharmonic have been putting on small performances by quartets in the city’s beautiful squares, and since September, have also been performing smaller scale concerts at Victory North.
"It’s a beautiful space and it’s allowed us to be creative — to have different types of lighting, have musicians on the floor or the stage," said Williams.
"It’s a more intimate setting."
The SavPhil’s next Victory North performance will focus on music that was originally composed for the theatre or movies. "Of Stage and Screen" will feature a delightful selection of music including George Gershwin’s "Promenade (Walking the Dog)," Claude Debussy’s "Petite Suite," Darius Milhaud’s "La cheminée du roi René," "Pastorale" by modern composer Amy Beach, and Edvard Greig’s always popular "Suite from Peer Gynt."
"It’s a woodwind quintet which is near and dear to my heart because I’m a bassoonist," explained Williams.
"It captures the sounds of the woodwind quintet, and I think people will recognize those selections, how they’ll hear ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ and different pieces and go ‘Oh, I know that,’ even if they don’t know the composer, necessarily."
The quintet features SAVPhil woodwind artists Diane Kessel (flute), Andrew Jay Ripley (oboe), Kristen Spiridon (clarinet), Brad Behr (bassoon), and Michael Daly (horn).
The venue holds 70 guests and each attendee will receive a complimentary SAVPhil branded mask. Victory North has also created a pair of delicious music inspired signature cocktails — the Gershwin which is a gin, lemon, ginger-infused syrup and champagne float, and Norwegian Forest made with vodka, lime, mixed berry syrup, ginger ale, rosemary, and fresh berry garnish.
"People can have a drink outside before and after the performance and just really enjoy being outside together with live music," said Williams.
For those who cannot attend the concert, there will also be a free livestream hosted by SavPhil flautist Jeana Mallili, and if you miss it live, you can still watch it anytime afterwards, so there is no excuse to miss this wonderful performance.
Being forced to adapt its 2020/2021 season to these uncertain times hopefully may actually help the SavPhil broaden its reach. Public concerts, unique events, livestreaming, and community outreach may ensure that when the SavPhil eventually take the Lucas Theatre stage again, they will have cultivated an even larger audience of classical music lovers.
As Williams pointed out, "this season is all about community and building togetherness through music."