Us: A Celebration of Community

“Us: A Celebration of Community” was originally envisioned as a live performance featuring a fluid set of artistic collaborations between STL GLD, members of the BSO, hip-hop and spoken word artists, DJs, video artists, beat-makers and dancers.  The goal of the project was to explore the synergy between artists of different genres, in pursuit of a new and inclusive artistic vocabulary.  

 COVID and Boston’s subsequent shut-down led to a reimagined launch of the project.  While a live performance is still the ultimate goal, “Us: Sessions” features a series of conversations between BSO musicians and some of the artists who were scheduled to perform together at Symphony Hall.  Hosted by STL GLD member Timothy Hall, the conversations range from childhood inspirations to coping with COVID, performance practices to how different lived experiences can converge through art.  Each artist shares at least one or two pieces of music that has impacted them in some way, revealing an intimate, raw and sometimes surprising look into their artistic journeys.

Listen to the full Spotify playlist

NOTE: Some subject content and/or language may be mature for younger audiences. Please feel free to visit BSO Homeschool for classroom and student-specific offerings.

Session 1

STL GLD and members of the BSO’s string section collaborate on a performance of “With Me”, a track from the band’s 2019 album “The New Normal”. Recorded at the beginning of the COVID shut-down, each musician performed their part at home, adding power to the idea of artistic collaboration across perceived barriers.

Session 2

Moe Pope (STL GLD), The Arcitype (STL GLD) and Thomas Wilkins (BSO Germeshausen Youth and Family Concert Conductor and Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement) discuss music as a form of human connection through childhood memories, early influences and a sense of discovery. Musical selections range from The Cars to the Roots to Gustav Holst. Hosted by Tim Hall.

Session 3

Artists Dzidzor, Julia Easterlin and Rachel Childers (BSO french horn) engage in a deep discussion about the effects of living with a pandemic, reflect on self-identifying as an artist, and share music ranging from Nancy Wilson to Mamady Keita. Hosted by Tim Hall.

Session 4

BSO members Suzanne Nelsen (bassoon) and Lawrence Wolfe (double bass) join STL member Christopher Talken in a fun and breezy exchange about music that influenced their childhoods, from Donna Summer to Felix Mendelssohn. Hosted by Tim Hall.

Session 5

Multi-digital media artist Cliff Notez and BSO violist, Danny Kim, join host Tim Hall in a thoughtful discussion about engaging with audiences and the unparalleled joy of making live music with other artists. From Bon Iver to Igor Stravinsky, Cliff and Danny share musical influences with each other and discuss what they find most compelling about each.

Session 6

BSO violinist Bonnie Bewick, STL GLD drummer Jonathan Ulman and trumpet player Christopher Klaxton cover a broad and intriguing range of musical styles and artistic influences with host Tim Hall, from J Dilla to Talking Heads to Stephane Grappelli.

Session 7

Independent lyrical artist Najee Janey and BSO piccoloist Cynthia Meyers join host Tim Hall in a conversation about creativity, manifesting personal dreams, and pushing outside of the comfort zone, with music from Nick Hakim to Claude Debussy.