ASA ANNOUNCES RE-IMAGINED SEASON, CANCELLATIONS/POSTPONEMENTS, DRIVE-IN THEATER FUNDRAISER

Date: Sep 15, 2020

Allentown, PA, Sept. 15, 2020 –  Today, the Allentown Symphony Association (ASA) announced an extension of event cancellations/postponements of ASA-promoted events at Miller Symphony Hall (MSH) through December 31, 2020 as well as an update on planning for a re-imagined season which could include socially-distanced, reduced capacity events and virtual concerts.  Private rental events at Miller Symphony Hall up to this time are being handled on a case-by-case basis.  The ASA had previously announced cancellations and postponements of events through August 31, 2020.

The ASA, in partnership with the NB Center for American Automotive Heritage, also announced Classic Cars & Concerts a drive-in theater fundraising event on October 1st (doors open at 6:00 pm).  The celebratory event will feature the ASO with excerpts of concerts, talks with musicians, Diane Wittry’s interviews with guest artists and more.  At this one-of-a-kind socially distanced experience patrons will admire classic cars on display, enjoy hors d’oeuvres with special mocktails and have the chance to participate in a raffle for jewelry valued at over $1000.  For more information go to MillerSymphonyHall.org click on Support Us and go to Benefit Events.

In a statement, ASA Executive Director Al Jacobsen said “At this very moment, Diane Wittry and the ASA team are working to re-imagine events with exciting ways for patrons to experience them. The fall season and beyond will present 60-70 minute, intermission-free concerts featuring smaller orchestra and chamber music ensembles, a socially-distanced hall with new safety protocols in place for in-person events, new virtual content on Miller Symphony Hall@Home (mshathome.org) and the ability for our patrons to view concerts at the hall from home.   El Sistema Lehigh Valley, an important education program of the ASA, continues in full force with online teaching and virtual concerts, not missing a beat as we celebrate the program’s 10th anniversary.”

Jacobsen acknowledged that “Although we do need to cancel in-person events through December 31, I am hopeful that we will be announcing virtual streaming concerts while we are not able to gather at Miller Symphony Hall.”

“This has been a challenging time for us all,” Jacobsen continued,  “but we are in a unique position as the owner and operator of our historic venue, Miller Symphony Hall, in that we can plan and re-schedule events with a nimbleness that similar organizations cannot manage – making shifts in programming as restrictions during the pandemic evolve.”

Jacobsen concluded by saying, “Through all of this, we have relied on our patrons and our community for their support, understanding and their faith in this organization.  We are working diligently to re-imagine our world and bring music back to Miller Symphony Hall.”

The most up-to-date information on cancellations/postponements and new events may be found by visiting http://www.MillerSymphonyHall.org, by asking a question at info@allentownsymphony.org or by calling 610.432.6715.

Below is a listing of changes to the MSH concert schedule from September 25 – December 31:

EVENTS CANCELLED AS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED

Sept. 25:  The Steve Sandberg Quartet, Jazz Upstairs
Sept. 26: John Williams – A Musical Tribute, ASO Pops*
Oct. 10 & 11:  Brahms and Rachmaninoff, ASO Classical*
Oct. 24:  The Mark of Zorro, The Allentown Band
Nov. 14 & 15: Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” ASO Classical*
Dec. 19:  Jim Brickman – Magic of Christmas (in-person tour has been cancelled, however the ASA is working with Jim Brickman to present a virtual concert for Allentown audiences on December 19.  More information to be announced soon.)

*While these three ASO events will not take place at this time, re-imagined ASO programs for the current season are being planned for 2021.

JAZZ UPSTAIRS EVENTS STILL TENTATIVE

Oct. 23:  Don Braden
Nov. 20: Viktorija Gečytè with Gene Perla Trio
Dec. 18:  Craig Thatcher and Nyke Van Wyk

These events have not been cancelled but remain tentative as virtual live streaming events and/or socially distant performances if capacity restrictions are lifted.

ABOUT THE ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION /ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Operating the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO), El Sistema Lehigh Valley (ESLV) and owner/operator of Miller Symphony Hall, the ASA is one of the region’s premier arts organizations.

Each year, the ASO performs more than 20 classical, pops, educational, and family concerts.  In 2014 and again in 2017, the orchestra received the national American Prize for “orchestral excellence.”  With passion and finesse, the ASO, led by Music Director & Conductor Diane Wittry, plays time-honored masterworks, newly commissioned world premieres, and intriguing repertoire, including works by prominent new composers.

Exciting world-class artists that have performed with the ASO include Midori, Emanuel Ax, Angela Meade, and Peter Serkin, as well as jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and Broadway vocalist Christiane Noll.  The orchestra’s classically trained musicians include players from the major urban centers of New York, Baltimore-D.C., and Philadelphia.

Music Director Diane Wittry, now in her 26th Season with the ASO, is known for her innovative programming style, using video, dancers, subtitles, and other visuals that give her concerts a sense of occasion.  She has been a stellar advocate for music education outreach for all ages and skill levels.  Lehigh Valley native Ron Demkee serves as the ASO’s Associate/Pops Conductor.  The two previous ASO Music Directors were Donald Voorhees, the distinguished conductor of the studio orchestra for NBC’s Emmy-award-winning “The Bell Telephone Hour,” and William Smith, Assistant Conductor to the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy.

The ASO has received music commissioning grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, and from the League of American Orchestras in support of its El Sistema-inspired program for at-risk youth.  The ASA also biennially hosts the National Schadt String Competition which attracts top young performers from all over the world.

As it has for the last 70 years, the ASO continues its pursuit of excellence with passion, keeping alive the legacy of masterworks while bringing the works of modern masters to the concert stage for the entire community.

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