2015-07-31 / Arts & Entertainment

S.C. Phil seeking conductor for new concert series: YOU

Contributed by South Carolina Philharmonic

Air conductors of all skill and experience levels are hereby on notice. From this September through next spring, the South Carolina Philharmonic is rehearsing, then heading off the stage and into the community with the interactive and engaging new “Conduct the Phil” program, funded by a grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation.

Music moves many to start conducting spontaneously in the car or office, but have you ever thought you’d like a chance to conduct a professional orchestra? If you said “yes,” start practicing.

“Conduct the Phil” improves the popular flash mob experience by making it interactive. In the process, it will connect around 100,000 people in the region with the S.C. Phil and each other by virtue of a unique shared experience at six free concerts in vibrant social settings where the Midlands gathers: the S.C. State Fair, Orangeburg’s Festival of Roses, Irmo’s Okra Strut, the Kershaw County Farmers Market, and Soda City Market twice.


Morihiko Nakahara Morihiko Nakahara The first concert will be at the Irmo Okra Strut, Friday, September 25, 2015 from 7 to 8 p.m, kicking off the largest-scale audience/ community-engagement initiative in the S.C. Phil’s 52- season history.

As passersby enjoy these festivals, they’ll encounter around 20 S.C. Phil musicians set up as if on stage, with music stands, chairs, and a podium and baton for the conductor— who will be conspicuously absent. On Music Director Morihiko Nakahara’s music stand will be a sign that reads, “Conduct us!” As brave volunteers take turns picking up the baton, the assembled orchestra will begin playing a surprise tune to whatever tempo the volunteer conductor sets.

Music will include patriotic works and popular classical repertoire such as Mozart’s Eine kleine nachtmusik, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and the opening of Beethoven’s famed Fifth Symphony. The orchestra will perform at each location for an hour as members of the public take turns at the podium.

The Central Carolina Community Foundation’s generous, $24,000 grant funds most of the new program’s $30,000 cost, with the S.C. Phil covering the rest. From Morihiko Nakahara, S.C. Philharmonic Music Director

“What we’ve experienced from adapting the ‘Link Up’ concerts in the recent years is the power of audience participation and audience/ performer interaction. ‘Conduct the Phil’ is a fun way for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience what I am fortunate to experience every time I step in front of an ensemble. You are placed right in the middle of all the musical action, perhaps similar to being right on the sidelines during a football game as opposed to watching it from the stands or on TV. If you are adventurous, feel free to experiment—make the orchestra go faster, slower, louder, softer, etc.”

From Joann Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation

“Central Carolina Community Foundation is proud to support the South Carolina Philharmonic with an inaugural Connected Communities grant. The grant we’ve awarded will help this organization promote a more welcoming and vibrant community by engaging our community in the music making process. We are delighted to provide funding for the ‘Phil’s’ unique concert series.”

About the S.C. Philharmonic

An independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1964, the South Carolina Philharmonic entertains, educates, enriches, and excites diverse audiences through live symphonic music. The introduction of Music Director Morihiko Nakahara in 2008/ 2009 ushered in a New Era of Artistic Excellence that is allowing the orchestra to move forward and become the Midlands pre-eminent performing arts group.

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