Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

February 29, 2016

Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess", Copland, Schwantner & Ellington

Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield, MA 
February 27, 2016
by Carol Resnick

This is not a review, per sé, but some “bravo” from a lifetime resident and long-time appreciator of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra – for over a half-century.

How lucky are we to have in our community the Springfield Symphony Orchestra under the direction of gifted maestro, Kevin Rhodes. On the evening of February 27, I had the privilege of attending the concert whose theme was honoring Black History Month. The diverse program offered selections from Copeland, Ellington, Gershwin, and Schwantner.

“Porgy and Bess,” as a concert-style performance, featured four outstanding soloists as well as the Symphony Chorus. This was a big undertaking that was well received. The most outstanding performance, to me, was "Daybreak of Freedom" by Schwantner. He was inspired to write the music by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. – teaching brotherhood and justice. This particular music was stirring and spiritual, underlined with a sense of struggle. With penetrating resonance, the renowned actor Avery Brooks masterfully narrated King’s words.

In our troubled world, music, theatre, and other arts are a panacea. They offer beauty and challenge our souls beyond modern technology. Treat yourself and support these cultural opportunities in the Pioneer Valley.