Monday, June 24, 2019

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Friday was Columbia’s 52nd Birthday. There may have been cake down at the People Tree. Were you there? It’s amazing how two whole years have managed to fly by since the much-celebrated 50th Birthday festivities.

And it can hardly be possible that this Sunday, June 30th, will be the third Community Pops Concert given at the Chrysalis by the Columbia Orchestra. Three years already? It really does seem like yesterday that I was putting a blanket down on the grass and waiting expectantly for the opening notes. I watched the crowd as it grew, hoping with all my heart that they’d like this new concert space as much as I did. I felt proud to be there with my daughters for the beginning of something new in Columbia.

Now, the Columbia Orchestra wasn’t new. No, not at all. In fact, if you think about birthdays, Columbia was only ten years old when it decided to play strings. (Nowadays students jump in a bit sooner, but Columbia was an entirely brand-new being, after all, so we won’t be judgey about that.)

Yes, in 1977 some local string players got together and formed the Columbia Chamber Orchestra.

It may have started small, but those musicians who came together for the love of the music persisted and the group grew, and flourished, and became the Columbia Orchestra we know today. These musicians have contributed to our local arts community in many ways, year after year. A quick glance at their website shows concerts of traditional symphonic music, but also contemporary performances. Beatboxing. A silent film score. Collaborations with choral groups and with dance. Chamber music, young people’s concerts, instrumental petting zoos, and the much beloved Pops Concerts.

Take a look at this snapshot from my search over at the Baltimore Sun.

All of this is a reminder of how Columbia has always been a fertile growing place for the arts. Almost from the very beginning there has been music, dance, theatre, literary societies, and venues for visual arts. Columbia grew up on the arts. There’s no denying it.

And now there are new arts ventures starting to burst forth in Columbia. As the New American City moves solidly into the 21st century, new art and artists are joining our vibrant arts community and making their own place to grow and flourish. The old welcomes the new, just as the Columbia Orchestra “christened” the Chrysalis three years ago and introduced a new space to old friends.

Sunday’s concert is at 5:00 pm. Get your free tickets here. It looks like a lot of fun.

Join the Orchestra and conductor Jason Love on June 30, 2019 for a FREE Summer Pops Concert at the Chrysalis on the grounds of Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. The whole family will love film favorites from Superman, Magnificent Seven, and The Lion King, plus Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, patriotic songs, and the ultimate outdoor classic: The 1812 Overture! Crowd-favorite Sola Fadiran joins the Orchestra for some of Broadway's greatest hits!

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