The Cleveland Orchestra Blends Classical and Gospel in Hough Concert

Northeast Ohio musician Johnny Parker is assembling a community gospel choir for the Cleveland Orchestra (Photo: DCB)
Featured Audio

by David C. Barnett

Members of the Cleveland Orchestra have spent a good part of the summer outside of their Severance Hall home, playing in small groups throughout the Hough community.  A highlight of the "neighborhood residency", this week, features a blend of classical and gospel music.

When the Cleveland Orchestra was planning the visit to Hough, it recruited local musician Johnny Parker to organize a community choir, gathered from local churches, adding some vocal texture to a concert, Thursday night.

"We've got 93 registered singers," he says.

This group will be blended with the Orchestra's regular chorus for some familiar gospel numbers.

The Cleveland Orchestra has a worldwide reputation for extended stays in Florida, New York and Europe.  For the past four years, the ensemble has added residencies in Greater Cleveland neighborhoods, playing in non-traditional venues, from area shops to community centers.  The centerpiece of this summer's visit to Hough is the classical-meets-gospel performance at the East Professional Center.  Johnny Parker hopes concert will be the beginning of a long-term relationship.

"I love this project," he says, "because the Cleveland Orchestra isn't just focused on throwing a great concert or event.  They want to have a lasting impact on the community.  And I think that's definitely a project worth getting behind."

One of the songs scheduled for this Thursday's concert: Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
Schedule
Donate
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.