Symphony building strong ties with student musicians

Deanna Tham

Deanna Tham of the Jacksonville Symphony shines a light on the symphony’s work with Communities in Schools to bring classical music to students who might never otherwise experience it. The on-stage performance of a symphony orchestra is just the tip of the iceberg. There is the rehearsal, stage, library and personnel that must come together. Beyond that, there are hours … Read More

Finding strength in classical music

Courtney Lewis

The Jacksonville Symphony’s Courtney Lewis says that, in trying times like these, we can all find strength and solace in the works of the masters. A friend recently asked me what symphonic music I think feels of the moment, what music feels like now, as we adjust to a new normal of social distancing and uncertainty. I often use music … Read More

Music is made for hard times like these

Steven Libman

Steven Libman says the Jacksonville Symphony is doing what needs to be done to survive the quarantine. As I write this it’s almost incomprehensible that I started a new job on Feb. 1, 2020, as president and CEO for the Jacksonville Symphony. Less than 30 days later, the world changed as the COVID-19 crisis fell upon us. We have had … Read More

Take 20 minutes for Beethoven

Courtney Lewis

Courtney Lewis of the Jacksonville Symphony says a Beethoven piano sonata may be the pick-me-up we all could use right about now. I’m sure I speak for many of you when I say it’s been a long time since I had this much time on my hands. The effect of the coronavirus on the performing arts has been devastating. At … Read More

Kids learn more than music in youth orchestras

Behind the Scenes, Deanna Tham

Deanna Tham, principal conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras, says her favorite part of the job is watching kids learn to work together to create something bigger than themselves. There is a special moment in every musical performance, right before the sound starts. The conductor takes in a breath and absorbs the profundity of the entire work that is … Read More

Nutcracker requires intimate conversation between musicians, dancers

Deanna Tham

One of the best parts of holding the title of Assistant Conductor is how much community engagement the position affords. I get to travel with music to outside communities, bring the excitement of sound to students, and share the treasures of the score with people who may not have thought to step into the hall. This also includes collaborations with … Read More

Symphony in 60 offers classical music, an hour at a time

Courtney Lewis

Symphony in 60 is one of my favorite Jacksonville Symphony concert series. It’s a simple idea: Happy hour at 5:30, an hour-long concert at 6:30, and then an opportunity to meet the musicians and conductor over a drink. This season we’re expanding the series from three concerts to six. It’s really exciting to see the many recent developments in our … Read More

Beethoven front and center in Symphony season

Courtney Lewis

After a summer guest conducting in Aspen and Minnesota, I’m back in Jacksonville and it’s time to get ready for our upcoming season. This year is a series of celebrations, as the Jacksonville Symphony turns 70, Ludwig van Beethoven reaches an ever-youthful 250, and we perform thrilling concerts not just at home, but also at the Kennedy Center in Washington, … Read More

Finding inspiration in Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’

Courtney Lewis

This summer I’ve been writing about the music I love beyond the classical bubble. Since its release in April 2016, I’ve been mildly obsessed with one album: Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’. ‘Lemonade’ is a deeply personal testament describing Queen Bey’s discovery that her husband – the rapper Jay-Z – had been unfaithful. During its twelve songs we accompany Beyoncé on her journey … Read More

Finding inspiration in ‘A Love Supreme’

Courtney Lewis

I often like to ask classical musicians what they listen to in order to relax. The answer is rarely our own music; stepping outside the classical world allows our critical facilities to switch off, which is blessed relief. My after-work tastes are hip hop, R&B, house, pop and a relatively small amount of jazz. Over the past few weeks I’ve … Read More