Schumann’s heartbreaking Second one of Lewis’ favorites

Conducting Electricity, Program Spotlight, Courtney Lewis

When I’m asked the impossible question, “What’s your favorite symphony”, I usually refuse to answer, but inside my head a voice always cries out: Schumann’s Second! Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was the archetypal Romantic: he loved poetry as much as music, couldn’t decide whether to be a musician or a writer, married another artist (the great pianist Clara Wieck), struggled with … Read More

Symphony building strong ties with student musicians

Behind the Scenes, 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

Conducting Electricity, 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

Behind the Scenes, 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

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