For more than twenty years, the National Symphony Orchestra has brought music around the country through its American Residency program. This year, its destination will be — Columbia Heights.
In January, 2012, the new “NSO in your Neighborhood” program will have the orchestra team up for a week with a whole range of community organizations for concerts, master classes, and other events in the NW DC neighborhood. On January 6, the whole orchestra will come together for one concert called “A World of Music,” featuring music of many lands.
Partner organizations include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, GALA Hispanic Theater, the Sitar Arts Center, and DC USA, the local mall with its big-box stores, among many others.
Details of the events, to be held the week of January 3-8, 2011, are still to be announced, but the plan appears to involve the kind of mix that has characterized the American residencies, with individual players in the orchestra proposing projects and individual groups in the community putting in requests, and administrators going through and playing matchmaker to find the best fits between artists and audiences. They will range from Teddy Bear Concerts, designed for very young children, to music education and even speaking engagements.
There are no plans for an American residency in the 2011-12 season. The orchestra has not yet announced whether the program will resume in future.
The official announcement was to have come on Saturday at Columbia Heights Day, complete with a performance on Glenn Donnellan’s violin made from a baseball bat, but thanks to the approach of Hurricane Irene, the event was cancelled.