Today the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) announced the launch of its virtual performance platform, the Music Lab. This unique digital platform will allow the community to enjoy the love of music, share music from multiple sources, access educational tools, and experience unique digital programs.
As with many businesses around the world, the FWSO has canceled its live performances through at least May 17 to adhere to federal and local health and safety guidelines for COVID-19 and requirements from performance venues. However, as one of Fort Worth’s most important performing arts organizations, the FWSO is dedicated to connecting the community through music by keeping the music playing through this new innovative, digital platform.
“Challenging times require great leadership, and I am delighted that the FWSO leadership team has been able to develop a comprehensive digital strategy so quickly,” says Keith Cerny, Ph.D, President and CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. “We are thrilled to partner with our Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the musicians in our orchestra to share a wide range of educational and musical content, for music fans of all ages.”
The Music Lab will provide patrons a unique opportunity to engage with musicians, staff and sponsors beyond the walls of Bass Performance Hall. The four pillars of the lab – listen, learn, share and give – will house content individuals can access to grow musically, discover archived, live or curated performances, and connect with other music lovers.
“The best measure of any organization’s true strength is how it responds to a time of crisis,” says Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Chairman of the Board, Mercedes T. Bass. “The Board and I are truly impressed with how the administrative staff and musicians have responded to these difficult times, and have worked together to develop an innovative approach to ‘Keep the Music Playing during this devastating time.’ The digital strategy will enable the community to enjoy listening to our brilliant orchestra in the comfort of their home until we return to the stage.”
The FWSO’s Music Lab is comprised of four distinct tracks where individuals can engage online:
- The Listening Lab: The virtual listening lab will provide weekly postings of archival recordings and curated playlists by FWSO’s musicians and other talented performers, to keep the music alive in the local community and beyond. This lab will also host a weekly discussion with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, FWSO’s Music Director.
- The Learning Lab: The FWSO Learning Lab will continue the organization’s mission of providing education content and tools for schools, students and families. Materials will be available to help introduce or enhance musical education in the home, such as weekly webinars, the national program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Link Up, and downloadable tool kits for kids.
- The Sharing Lab: In this Music Lab track, the FWSO will showcase a wide range of musical selections and performances. This will include personal performances from FWSO musicians, as well as talented student musicians across the country. This lab will also feature a young artist competition in April, where 12 exceptional young instrumentalists and vocalists from across Texas will have the opportunity to win $5,000. Viewers will be able to watch the candidates’ audition pieces online, and the four finalists will have a live performance on the video conference platform, Zoom, on April 29. Additional competition details are available online.
- The Giving Lab: The FWSO mission would not be possible without the generous support from its foundation and community of patrons and sponsors. Donations will be collected to help keep the music playing now and for many years to come.
The FWSO’s superb musicians will be giving their time and talent to the Music Lab through special performances, recordings, webinars, and more.
“As a conductor, one of my most essential roles is to connect people to music. We are all finding our way through this new normal, and I’m certain that we can still make that connection,” says Miguel Harth-Bedoya, FWSO’s Music Director. “The manner might change, but the essence does not. I am proud to be part of the FWSO’s creative reimagining of how we might continue to serve you, and I’m excited to be able to share my thoughts, play music for you, and interact with you on a face-to-face basis that, frankly, I do not get to do from the stage! Sharing music is my joy and I can’t wait to get started with this new project.”
“The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra musicians are thrilled about the implementation of the FWSO Music Lab on our new website,” says FWSO Keyboardist Shields-Collins Bray. “The level of support we have received from the Board of Directors, administration, and the community has been humbling. Knowing that we are able to continue connecting with our community from the safety and comfort of our homes is a truly remarkable gift.”
For more information on the FWSO’s Music Lab, please visit https://fwsymphony.org/.
About Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is deeply committed to uniting its community through performance, education, and outreach, reaching an audience of more than 200,000 annually. Since its beginnings in 1912, the FWSO has been an essential thread in the city’s cultural fabric and the very foundation of Fort Worth’s performing arts. Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, now in his 20th and final season at the artistic helm of the FWSO, has led the orchestra into the 21st century to new levels of excellence. Under his leadership, the FWSO has performed at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. Throughout his tenure, the FWSO has released 13 recordings – with several being world premiere releases – garnering international acclaim. Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the FWSO have embraced creative collaborations through residencies, partnerships, and commissions. As the principal resident company of the acoustically superb Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, the Orchestra performs a full season of concerts featuring internationally acclaimed guest artists and works by living composers. The Orchestra performs and partners with the Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, The Cliburn, and Performing Arts Fort Worth. Each summer at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the FWSO presents Concerts in the Garden – a series of family-friendly concerts that has become a city-wide tradition. Additionally, the orchestra hosts an annual Festival of Orchestras, providing an opportunity for non-professional orchestras across the state of Texas to perform in Bass Performance Hall. The FWSO keeps exceptional musical experiences at the heart of its community. After all—life is better with music!