Orchestras respond to the crisis in Haiti

Posted on: February 11, 2010

Within a few short hours of the earthquake in Haiti, the League started hearing stories from throughout the field about orchestras’ efforts to help with the dire situation in Haiti. We think it’s important to share what our field is doing in this time of crisis. Please let us know about any activities that your orchestra is engaging in to aid survivors of the Haitian earthquake. The League will be tracking the orchestra community’s response to this disaster on The Hub and in other appropriate communications. This list will be updated regularly, with most recent items at the top, and is not meant to be comprehensive.

Delaware Symphony Orchestra – Cheryl Everill (cellist) and Lisa Vaupel (violinist) organized two chamber music benefit concerts in response to the urgent need in Haiti. On January 21st, Delaware Symphony Orchestra members and friends performed at a Brew Haha, a local coffee shop in Wilmington, and on January 24th, performed at Janssen’s Market in Greenville, DE. All donations from the community and musicians were made to the Red Cross International Response Fund.

Princeton University Orchestra
– The PUO will offer its performances of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony on April 23 and 24 as a memorial to the victims of the Haiti earthquake, and will solicit special contributions as well as donate a portion of the proceeds from those concerts to appropriate relief agencies.

Nashville Symphony
– During February Nashville Symphony musicians and staff members will participate in a drive to provide shoes to Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that collects new and used shoes and distributes them to people in need.

Lang Lang, Christoph Eschenbach, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra come together at Carnegie Hall on March 21 for a benefit concert aiding UNICEF’s efforts to bring relief to the children surviving the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Tulsa Symphony Orchestra – The TSO hosted the Red Cross response team and solicited donations before and during its January 16 concert.

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra – The SLSO donated to the American Red Cross 5 percent of its single-ticket revenue from orchestral series concerts on the weekends of January 16 and 23. 

Cambridge (MA) Symphony Orchestra – The CSO gave out information and collected donations at its January 17 concert.

Seattle Symphony – The Seattle Symphony collected donations on behalf of the American Red Cross International Response Fund at its free performance of Samuel Jones’ “Elegy” on January 19.

National Symphony Orchestra – The NSO donated proceeds from its January 22 concert to relief efforts.

Portland Symphony Orchestra – The PSO teamed up with Maine-based Kombit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership to raise funds for disaster relief in Haiti. Donations were collected on January 24 at a special open rehearsal in the morning and at the concert that followed at 2:30 p.m.

The Green Mountain Mahler Festival – The festival hosted a free performance of Brahms’s German Requiem on January 23.  Donations were be solicited for the Haitian relief efforts of Partners in Health and Catholic Relief Services.

Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra – The GNOYO is collecting money and formulating a plan to bring music back to Haiti. 

Portsmouth (NH) Symphony Orchestra – The PSO’s benefit concert on February 1 will be a joint effort between the orchestra and the North Church in downtown Portsmouth, designed to raise money for the Red Cross.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra patrons donated to the Red Cross before and at the intermissions of all concerts during the weekend of January 23. Music Director Manfred Honeck announced those efforts from stage before the concerts started.

North Carolina Symphony
– Orchestra musicians Karen Strittmatter Galvin (assistant concertmaster), Jeremy Preston (violin), David Marschall (associate principal viola), and Lisa Shaughnessy (cello) performed on Sunday January 17 at Helios coffee shop in downtown Raleigh. Donations and all of the income from the day (including coffee and food) went to the American Red Cross and UNICEF.

Longwood Symphony Orchestra’s Symphonic Relief for Haiti – Longwood has called on classical musicians here and abroad to hold benefit concerts for Partners in Health, which is providing medical care in Haiti. The orchestra has set up a blog dedicated to its Haiti relief efforts here. Among the organizations who have signed up to participate so far are:
Vermont Symphony Orchestra: The VSO will encourage audience members to contribute to Partners in Health at concerts on January 29 at the Bellows Falls Opera House; on January 30 at the Flynn Theater in Burlington; and on January 31 at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland.
Longwood Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory: Boston-based Longwood Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory will present “Symphonic Relief for Haiti” at NEC’s Jordan Hall on January 31 at 12:30 p.m.
Symphony Pro Musica: SPM will perform two benefit concerts entitled “Romantic Lives.” The first will take place at Hudson (Mass.) High School on January 30; the second will be at Hudson the Mill Pond School in Westborough (Mass.) on January 31.

The Cleveland Orchestra and New World Symphony – These two orchestras will join forces in a “Musicians for Haiti” concert on January 27 at the Lincoln Theatre in Miami Beach, Florida. All ticket sales, sponsorship money, and donations will benefit Partners In Health.

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra – The LPO will be collecting donations at its concert on January 28.  Jean Montes, who is artistic director of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra and is from Port au Prince, will conduct the Haitian national anthem.

Symphony of Dreams:  Haiti Memorial Benefit Concert – In New York City, Joseph Jones will lead an ad hoc orchestra in two performances of Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, the first on February 5 at Riverside Cathedral in Manhattan and the second on February 6 at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brooklyn; both performances will take place at 8 p.m. Vocal soloists will be soprano Michelle Trovato and baritone Austin Larusson. Proceeds will go to IFCO/Pastors for Peace, which provides medicine and relief supplies to doctors and medical personnel in Haiti. Pastors for Peace is a special ministry of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, founded in 1988 to deliver humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Carribean.

San Francisco Symphony: Music Without Borders:  A Tribute Week for the People of Haiti – This week San Francisco Symphony concerts will be dedicated to the people of Haiti. The musicians, chorus and staff have joined together in support of Doctors Without Borders. Musicians will perform chamber music in the Orchestra Lobby before each concert and during intermission to encourage support of the relief efforts.   Information will be available in the lobby on how to give to Doctors Without Borders, and other relief organizations, including the American Red Cross. Representatives of both relief organizations will attend the concerts this week. The concerts take place on February 3, 5, and 6 at 8:00 and on February 4 at 2:00.

Longwood Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory of Music – The LSO and NEC’s Symphonic Relief for Haiti efforts have raised more than $70,000 to date.  Their January 31st concert aired on WSKB TV38 on February 7th at 10PM.  The concert featured NEC faculty Paula Robison and Richard Stoltzman, A Far Cry chamber orchestra, the Boston Children’s Chorus, and student musicians from NEC, Longy School of Music, Boston Conservatory, and Boston University.

Please contact John Bence, director of public relations at the League, with information concerning your Haitian relief efforts at jbence@americanorchestras.org.

Posted February 11, 2010