Calling all performers – starting today, you can join in a large-scale effort to create incredible, original music together.
It’s called the 36-Hour Concert, and the Shenandoah Arts Council is behind it. The purpose: to use the special skills and art forms present in our community now as a means of bringing people together, and hopefully sparking some collaborations, according to one of the event organizers, Greg Brown.
He’s also one of the folks behind the Community Art Forums, which has the same goal in mind—to promote and encourage the growth of art, in whatever medium it may be.
“This format is intended to take a careful look at what it takes to create a piece of art,” he said.
“Composer, performer, and audience are all put under the microscope here; those creating and performing are under scrutiny to do as much artistic justice to their work as possible, while the audience will give a genuine reaction based on personal tastes–regardless of the amount of time it took to create what they will be hearing.”
On Friday evening, these musicians and composers will come together in Old Town Winchester with the goal of conceiving, composing, rehearsing, and performing original music within a 36-hour period. Composers will be assigned a randomized group of instrumentalists and singers, creating a unique ensemble. They will also be given a poem, which they must set to music. Composers will be notified of their ensemble at 9am on Saturday morning, June 23rd and will be given 24 hours to complete their compositions. The performers will then rehearse their works until 8pm on Sunday, June 24th, where the works will be premiered at the Shenandoah Arts Council Gallery.
This isn’t the first time for the event. Last year they held a 24-Hour Concert. Greg reports that the audience was genuinely intrigued by this experimental format and reacted warmly to the music.
“I found it very interesting that this weird way of putting together a concert had an effect on the level of audience engagement. There will be a question and answer session at the conclusion of the program so that the audience can be more directly involved,” he said.
Besides the audience, this event has a great effect on the musicians and composers involved—it’s a real test in creating and performing under unusual pressure.
“I think it’s a very powerful exercise for everyone involved. As a composer, I get to see again how I react under pressure, and have a piece of music to use a gauge for personal success,” explained Greg.
“Performers, I think, have the tough job. They have to make deep assumptions and snap judgments about music that was not intensely contemplated for weeks or months, like most of the music they play. For their performance to be successful, they have to be able to conjure up some magic and breathe life into the music that the composers hand them.”
Tracy Marlatt, Executive Director of the Shenandoah Arts Council, is very excited about the newly expanded event.
“It is an interesting process, I hope members of the community participate in this creativity,” says Tracy Marlatt. “We could blend not only the written word with music, but older professional musicians with younger musicians in our community.”
The public is invited to attend the free concert on Sunday, showing off the hard work of the musicians and composers over the 36-hour period. The concert starts at 8pm, Sunday June 24th at the Shenandoah Arts Council at 811 South Loudoun Street in Winchester.
Any interested and experienced composers or performers are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in this extraordinary arts event. All composers interested must be available June 23rd and 24th. Performers must be available June 24th.
Story by Jenny Brockwell
Photos contributed by Greg Brown