The North Carolina Symphony has launched a new series for listeners and patrons titled Musical Meditations. The Musical Meditations series will include a bi-weekly performance from the Symphony’s archives paired with imagery of state parks from around North Carolina.
Each video is several minutes long and includes an introduction to both the music and the art of meditation and mindfulness, including tips for listeners to enjoy the music in a fully present and mindful way. Available on the Symphony’s website and social media channels, the series aims to encourage a sense of calmness and awareness in listeners as we engage both with the music as well as the images of our beautiful state parks.
Meredith Laing, Director of Communications for the North Carolina Symphony, answers questions about the new series and how listeners who have missed in-person concerts over the past year can connect with the music we love.
ONC: The pairing of music and meditation sounds lovely, Meredith. What prompted the Symphony to combine the two, and what do you hope to offer listeners through this new program?
Meredith Laing: Emotional wellbeing is on many people’s minds these days— teachers, medical professionals, and business leaders are all sharing that focusing on emotional health is more important than ever. The North Carolina Symphony partnered with North Carolina State Parks and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in order to support our fellow citizens with stress-management during the busy school or workday, providing moments of calm and focus.
ONC: Since the COVID pandemic began, we’ve had to curtail many of our beloved activities, including listening to live music. What has the Symphony been doing during this time?
Meredith Laing: Without missing a beat, the Symphony took action to support teachers and at-home learners, adapting each component of our education program to a virtual format. Since then, we have continued to innovate, developing new online music education resources that have reached people across the country and even around the globe—more than 134,000 altogether! We think the new Music Meditations series will be valuable to students, but also to people of all ages.
And of course, the Symphony is proud that we have kept the music playing on through our 2020/21 streaming concert series. Our virtual performances have allowed us to remain connected to our audiences—and our musicians have met the challenges of a virtual format, continuing to bring the highest level of artistry to their craft. Plus, in the fall, NCS musicians performed surprise outdoor concerts in communities around the state and we look forward to resuming those pop-up performances in the spring!
ONC: We know how soothing and comforting music is for people of all ages. With the current in-person restrictions, how can listeners enjoy the Symphony from home?
ML: Our streaming series is available for just $20 per concert! Performances can be streamed to your TV, computer, or mobile device, and we have wonderful concerts still to come this season, including Copland’s Appalachian Spring, music of the Ragtime era, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with superstar Augustin Hadelich. No need to meditate on it—this is a great opportunity! For more information, visit ncsymphony.org.
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