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The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Keeps The Music Playing With Its Music Lab

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Keith Cerny, President & CEO of FWSO. Photo: Lawrence Jenkins

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has launched a digital platform called the Music Lab. This platform houses content for the community to keep the music playing by offering unique ways to engage and support patrons, musicians, staff, and sponsors beyond the walls of Bass Hall. 

To learn more about The Music Lab please visit the FWSO’s website.

“The Music Lab provides music, education, and entertainment on a weekly basis to continue to serve our community of educators and music lovers,” says Keith Cerny, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. “You can find topical discussions with music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, meet the instrument music family videos, and curated playlists from Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra members. It’s an opportunity to keep the music playing for our musicians and community.”

Here’s the full press release from the Fort Worth Symphony about what you can find at the Music Lab online:

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Launches Virtual Music Lab
Digital platform brings music performance and education to all

FORT WORTH, TX – April 6, 2020 – Today the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) announced the launch of its virtual performance platform, the Music Lab. This 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.”

Photo: FW Symphony Orchestra

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:

Photo: FW Symphony Orchestra

The Listening Lab: The virtual listening lab provides 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 also hosts 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 educational 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.

Photo: FW Symphony Orchestra

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/.

Got a tip? Email Therese Powell at tpowell@kera.org. You can follow her on Twitter @TheresePowell13

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