Category: Symphony with Soul

GR Symphony's 'Celebration of Soul' gala honors three for a lifetime of service to diversity, equity and inclusion

Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp , a pastor and counselor, a psychologist and college professor, a wife and mother, was an inspiration to all of those whose lives she touched in a life that was all too-short. In 2006, the Grand Rapids Symphony launched its annual Celebration of Soul Gala to honor members of the community who have worked tirelessly to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in West Michigan. The 14 th annual Celebration of Soul Gala, held Saturday, Feb. 16, honored three more... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Black Violin blows the roof off of sold-out DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids Symphony’s annual ‘Symphony with Soul’

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Black Violin has appeared with Alicia Keys at the Billboard Awards, won Showtime at  the Apollo , and performed for second inauguration of President Obama. Now they’ve won the respect of Grand Rapids. The hip-hop duo that plays string instruments joined the Grand Rapids Symphony for its 18 th annual Symphony with Soul and a performance that blew the roof off of DeVos Performance Hall in more ways than one on Saturday, Feb. 16. For... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Monday, February 18, 2019

Grand Rapids Symphony's annual 'Symphony with Soul' featuring Black Violin is sold out

Violinist Kevin Sylvester and violist Wilner Baptiste went to college to study classical music. Today both are professional musicians, but neither wear white tie and tails on stage. As Black Violin , “Kev Marcus” and “Wil B.” break down stereotypes and cultural barriers, one gig at a time. “If you come to our show and look at the stage before, you would sear it was two guitarists performing,” Will B. told the Mercury News recently .... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Grand Rapids Symphony’s Mosaic Scholars, with Creative Connections, find their voice

Instrument cases and winter coasts were pushed up against the wall, and black chairs were arranged in a circle. On a cold, gray Saturday morning, 17 Grand Rapids Symphony Mosaic Scholars held their instruments – woodwinds, strings, and horns – and sat in a large circle inside a recital hall at DeVos Performance Hall. After each Scholar played the opening seven-note sequence from Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss,” as performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Miles... Read More
Posted by Marketing Intern at Wednesday, February 21, 2018

GVSU music majors work with Grand Rapids Symphony’s Mosaic Scholars to compose and perform original music

Music students from Grand Valley State University recently helped 20 local high school students compose and perform music through an internship with the Grand Rapids Symphony . Four Grand Valley students spent February 13-18 working with leaders from Creative Connections , an international non-profit cultural education organization, to help the symphony's Mosaic Scholars compose, rehearse and perform original pieces of music. The Mosaic Scholarship is a program offered by the... Read More
at Wednesday, February 22, 2017

'It takes a lot of different hands' Grand Valley student learns behind the scenes as a Grand Rapids Symphony volunteer

The sights and sounds of a symphony orchestra that are most familiar and most recognizable are the musicians on stage and the music they make. Darwin McMurray, a junior at Grand Valley State University, who recently completed 25 hours of volunteer service with the Grand Rapids Symphony , discovered there’s a lot more happing out of sight and behind the scenes. “It’s a great organization,” said McMurray. “The things it’s doing with the community are... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, February 7, 2017

National Endowment for the Arts awards Grand Rapids Symphony $10,000 grant for 'Symphony with Soul'

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Grand Rapids Symphony a $10,000 grant for its annual “Symphony with Soul” concert and gala. Three-time Grammy Award winning singer Lalah Hathaway , who is nominated for two more awards at the 59 th annual Grammy Awards,  will be special guest for the 16 th annual “Symphony with Soul” in February in DeVos Performance Hall. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s award is its third consecutive grant in six... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Recap: GR Symphony celebrates music & diversity with Marcus Roberts Trio at "Symphony with Soul"

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk The night opened with a rousing chorus of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” with nearly everyone in the house standing to sing the 117-year-old song often referred to as the “Black American National Anthem.”  But that was just the beginning of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s annual “Symphony with Soul.”  The annual musical celebration of diversity and inclusion, which last year brought actress and singer Vanessa Williams to Grand Rapids, welcomed the Marcus... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Marcus Roberts, "the greatest American musician" you haven't heard of, joins Grand Rapids Symphony

At age 5, pianist Marcus Roberts lost his sight, a victim of cataracts and glaucoma.  While attending Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, a school that also helped launch the career of legendary recording artist Ray Charles, Roberts began playing piano.  Ray Charles, of course, is a household name. Marcus Roberts, on the other hand, is known mostly in jazz circles, leading trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to call him “the greatest American musician most people have never heard... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Celebrate Soul with the Grand Rapids Symphony

2015 marks the 10th Anniversary of Celebration of Soul, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s event preceding the Symphony with Soul concert. On February 28, 2015, Celebration of Soul continues its recognition of individuals and organizations who are dedicated to diversity, inclusion and bridge-building across cultures in West Michigan. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s commitment to establishing a diverse community reverberates in all the orchestra’s programs and services, including the selection of diverse... Read More
Posted by Sam Napolitan at Friday, February 13, 2015

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