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The Philadelphia Orchestra Furthers Commitment to the Communities of Philadelphia with Wide-Ranging Offerings this Spring

January 16, 2019

Free Neighborhood Chamber Concert Series Continues with Six Performances throughout the Region

February 10-June 9

“We’re HEAR Week” to Take Place March 18-24

Featuring Special Concert with Singer-Songwriter Ben Folds and Sensory-Friendly Performance at the Philadelphia Eagles’ NovaCare Complex 

(Philadelphia, January 16, 2019)—In its ongoing work to deepen ties to Philadelphians and to make music and arts education accessible to all people, The Philadelphia Orchestra announces two major community engagement initiatives for the spring season. The events, taking place February through June, will include a Free Neighborhood Chamber Concert Series around the city, as well as a special “We’re HEAR Week.” The 2019 “We’re HEAR Week” will include a concert on March 22 with singer-songwriter and champion of music education, Ben Folds, and will conclude on March 23 with a sensory-friendly full-orchestra concert in the Philadelphia Eagles’ NovaCare Complex indoor practice facility. These events support the Orchestra’s HEAR initiative, a portfolio of programs that promotes Health, champions music Education, eliminates barriers to Accessing the Orchestra, and maximizes impact through Research.


“Events like these beautifully exemplify the heart of our mission to share the enriching power of music,” said Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the musicians of the Orchestra, and our staff and board are committed to engaging with the diverse communities of Philadelphia. The experiences we create and the connections we make build the foundation for a lifelong love of music. We look forward to continuing our education initiatives and expanding access to the arts in meaningful ways in the months and years ahead.”


The Orchestra will present six concerts as part of its 2019 Free Neighborhood Chamber Concert Series, which introduces the music and musicians of the Orchestra to new audiences and venues outside of Verizon Hall. Chamber performances will take place at St. Thomas Aquinas School in South Philadelphia, Esperanza Academy in North Philadelphia, St. Francis de Sales church in West Philadelphia, Historic Strawberry Mansion in North Philadelphia, and Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. The series will also include a full-orchestra sensory-friendly concert at the Eagles’ NovaCare Complex. All events are free and open to the public—online RSVPs at www.philorch.org are encouraged. The Free Neighborhood Chamber Concert Series is generously supported by the William Penn Foundation and PNC Arts Alive.


The Orchestra’s 2019 “We’re HEAR Week” will take place March 18-23, 2019, and will include three school concerts in Verizon Hall, chamber performances in various settings throughout the city, continued work with Broad Street Ministry, side-by-side rehearsals with the All-City Orchestra and Penn Symphony, a chamber orchestra performance at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, and a benefit concert featuring Ben Folds. The benefit concert will feature orchestral arrangements of Ben Folds’ hit songs, solo performances, and orchestra-only pieces, with all proceeds benefitting the Orchestra’s education programs. As part of both the Neighborhood Concert Series and “We’re HEAR Week,” the sensory-friendly concert at the NovaCare Complex will feature the full orchestra and will be welcoming, inclusive, and comfortable for children and families with sensory sensitivities and cognitive and learning differences, as well as anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.


A complete schedule of events is listed below. More information can be found at www.philorch.org/HEAR.


Philadelphia Orchestra Community Programs

Spring 2019

(all events are free with RSVP at www.philorch.org unless otherwise indicated)


Free Neighborhood Chamber Concerts

(free tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, January 22 at noon)


Sunday, February 10, 2019, 3:00 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas

1719 Morris St, Philadelphia, PA 19145


Sunday, February 24, 2019, 3:00 PM

Esperanza Academy

301 W. Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140


Saturday, March 23, 2019, 3:00 PM

Philadelphia Eagles’ NovaCare Complex (full orchestra sensory-friendly performance)

1 NovaCare Way, Philadelphia, PA 19145


Sunday, April 14, 2019, 3:00 PM

St. Francis de Sales

917 S. 47th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143


Sunday, May 5, 2019, 3:00 PM

The Historic Strawberry Mansion

2450 Strawberry Mansion Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19132


Sunday, June 9, 2019, 3:00 PM

Penn Treaty Park

1301 N. Beach St, Philadelphia PA 19125


We’re HEAR Week


Monday, March 18, 2019, 1:30 PM

Broad Street Ministry music therapy (not open to public)


Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 12:15 PM

School Concert in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (open to school groups)


Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 10:30 AM and 12:15 PM

School Concerts in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (open to school groups)


Thursday, March 21, 2019, 12:30 PM

Side-by-Side Rehearsal with All-City Orchestra


Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:00 PM

Side-by-Side Rehearsal with The University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra


Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:00 PM

Chamber orchestra benefit concert at the Keswick Theatre 


Tickets are available at www.valleyforge.org/orchestra


Friday, March 22, 2019, 8:00 PM

Chamber ensemble performances in neighborhoods (locations TBA)


Friday, March 22, 2019, 8:00 PM

Benefit concert with Ben Folds in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets available at www.philorch.org, by phone at 215.993.1999, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office at Broad and Spruce Streets. Tickets range from $45-$150 (plus fees) and are available to the general public on Friday, January 18 at noon. 


VIP ticket packages are also available and include meet & greets, seating in the front rows and more. More information on these packages can be found at www.philorch.org/benfolds.


Saturday, March 23, 2019, 3:00 PM

Full orchestra sensory-friendly performance at the Philadelphia Eagles’ NovaCare Complex



About The Philadelphia Orchestra


About HEAR



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Ashley Berke




Amanda N. Olszewski




Alexa Vecchione