California’s Pacific Symphony has been bringing the music to the people for many years. But over the last few months, the orchestra has been encouraging people to connect hands-on with music and musical instruments all over the place in its home base of Orange County.
As part of its “OC Can You Play?” initiative, the orchestra installed 20 pianos in public spaces throughout Orange County, painted by local artists, available for the public to play during January and February. Variously colorful, poetic, and amusing, the painted pianos showed up at a local high school, malls, parks, downtown plazas, and even at the zoo, for anyone to play. The pianos were then auctioned off at biddingforgood.com, an online charity auction site, to benefit the orchestra.
In March, amateur singers competed American Idol-style for a chance to perform with the Pacific Symphony in an “OC Can You Sing?” program, with finalists judged by the public performing at the orchestra’s May pops concerts at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
Finally, for “OC Can You Play With Us?” program, amateur musicians over the age of 24 had the opportunity to perform side-by-side with orchestra members on May 16, when an hour-long rehearsal was followed by a performance of movements from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in Segerstrom Hall, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair.
In the video below, we take a look at the pianos, the players, and the passion of the projects, as Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte discusses how his orchestra got closer to its community.
Pacific Symphony video and photos courtesy of Pacific Symphony. Video edited by John Bence.