Today the North Carolina Symphony launches its newest community engagement initiative, a project called One State, One Score. Through this collaborative project, the public is invited to “join the Symphony” virtually by performing a selection from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the Symphony No. 9.
The “Ode to Joy” theme has been arranged for all different instruments as well as vocals, and the parts are available for download to all North Carolinians. Instruments from violin to piano to kazoo are represented, and participants can select their skill level to find a part perfectly customized for them. Participants then simply learn their music, record a video of their performance, and upload it via the Symphony’s website. The Symphony also encourages the submission of visual artwork, dance, or any other form of artistic expression inspired by the music.
NCS will compile as many submissions as possible into a final video to be released in spring 2021, with the aim of bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together, virtually, in a collective arts experience.
“In difficult times, connectivity through art becomes ever more important,” explains Sandi Macdonald, North Carolina Symphony President & CEO. “The Symphony strives to build a community of creatively engaged citizens, who experience and approach the world through the lens of innovation, artistry, and culture. One State, One Score allows all North Carolinians to become creative artists—and, we hope the project will be an effective tool for educators to bring their students off their screens and back to playing their instruments.”
Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is uplifting, joyful music set to poetry that proclaims the ideal of universal brotherhood—making this the perfect musical selection to inspire hope during the challenges of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, the Symphony has been dedicated to continuing to engage its statewide audiences through music. Education programs for students preschool through high school have been adapted to virtual formats and have reached students in nearly every North Carolina county, in every U.S. state, and across the world since March. In September, the Symphony launched its re-imagined 2020/21 season with concerts streamed to homes virtually. NCS is grateful to keep the music playing on, and looks forward to having North Carolina citizens add their own creative voices through One State One Score.
For more information about One State, One Score—and instructions for participation — please visit ncsymphony.org/onestate-onescore.
By Meredith Kimball Laing, North Carolina Symphony