Most people think the S.C. Philharmonic performs six long-haired concerts a year, period. In fact, most of its good work is out in the community.
The Healing Harmonies program takes talented musicians to our hospitals to perform for patients who have little or no access to the music.
It’s amazing to watch the elevator doors slide open and see a parade of youngsters at the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital rolling their intravenous pole buddies to hear our musicians play. A few brave souls even got up to conduct the music.
When the Philharmonic presented its sold-out “Musiclipse” Star Wars concert, the music was broadcast live to every patient room in the Palmetto Hospital system.
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Our musicians go on the road with their “Conduct the Phil” program, where community members pick up a baton and sway the tempos. I was touched watching amputees at the Dorn VA hospital conducting “Stars and Stripes,” and homeless residents at Transitions and troubled youth at the Department of Juvenile Justice leading popular classical melodies.
More than 5,500 children are being bused to the Koger Center during school hours for our Link Up Concerts, which we present in partnership with Carnegie Hall in New York.
But the most exciting event this year was our tribute to three American icons: Duke Ellington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Leonard Bernstein. More than 300 African-American leaders, clergy, fraternity and sorority members joined our traditional audience to listen as Columbia City Councilman and Rev. Ed McDowell narrated powerful selections from Dr. King’s speeches to the background of stirring music by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Joseph Schwanter, performed by our full major orchestra.
The members of the Philharmonic have every right to toot their horns loudly.
Chair, Community Advisory Council, S.C. Philharmonic
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