About the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1981, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra brings a variety of high-level concert experiences to Florida’s capital city and surrounding region throughout the year. The orchestra regularly presents a five-concert subscription series in addition to young people’s concerts, Pops concerts, and special events throughout the community. On March 31, the TSO will present a unique opportunity for community dialogue on complex issues through the performance of Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed and Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony.
Ode to Understanding
Presented by Leon County Government, the “Ode to Understanding” project brings together the forces of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, The Village Square, the Florida A&M Concert Choir, and the Morehouse College Glee Club to create a profound community event that will open hearts and inspire civil discourse.
On the first half of the concert is a new work titled Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, written for male chorus and orchestra. Seven Last Words of the Unarmed laments the deaths of seven African-American men, addressing complex and difficult emotions.
The concert’s second half will present Beethoven’s beloved Ninth Symphony, a fitting expression of humanity, brotherhood, bonding and equality. Beethoven’s Ninth is a life-affirming masterpiece whose joyful message has inspired millions of people worldwide since its premiere in 1824. Through partnerships with local government, other arts organizations, and community members, the event underscores the importance of community to transcend division.
Following the first half of the concert, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil will a lead conversation with composer Joel Thompson and TSO Board Members Byron Greene and Patrick Slevin. Sheriff McNeil will interview these stakeholders about Thompson‘s piece of music, the TSO‘s decision to program it, and how shared artistic experiences impact the community as a whole. At the conclusion of the concert, the audience and the performers will be invited to break bread and talk with each other, as we seek a better understanding of complex social issues.
For more information, please visit the TSO’s website: https://www.tallahasseesymphony.org/odetounderstanding/.
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