- Event dates: Past Concert
- Featured Artist:
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A three-masted ship, battered by the North Atlantic winds, sails into a natural harbor, sheltered by the hooked shape of the land. Their arrival on Cape Cod changed the history of America.
The idea for the Mayflower concert originated with a commemoration of the Pilgrims’ arrival, first on Cape Cod and then in Plymouth, in 1620. “Mayflower 400,” originally scheduled for the fall of 2020, featured two new works co-commissioned by the Cape Symphony and the Plymouth Philharmonic, one focused on the Mayflower Compact, and the other on the Wampanoag story. Of course, that concert was postponed due to the pandemic.
Subsequent events led Artistic Director & Conductor Jung-Ho Pak to think deeply about the message of this concert. He commissioned a third new work,”#elijah,” in memory of Elijah McClain, who loved playing the violin and sharing his joy with all people and creatures. Emmy-award winning composer John Wineglass created this extraordinary piece. Randall Goosby, a virtuosic Juilliard student of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, will premiere this powerful and moving piece. Randall is a talent on the rise: he recently performed at the Kennedy Center Honors and at the national memorial on 9/11.
“Mayflower,” with music and lyrics by Alex Berko and narration by Josh Delaney, commemorates the journey of the Pilgrims and the creation of the Mayflower Compact. Actor Neil McGarry will perform the narration, which unfolds the story of the people who “looked to the horizon with hearts of hope.” Soprano Kristen Watson will sing the ethereal spirit of the Mayflower passengers as they agree to unite and prepare to start a new life.
“Wampanoag: Stories For All Time,” by Native composer Tonya Wind Singer, features Native singer and storyteller Jonathan James Perry sharing beautiful and meaningful stories of the indigenous people who thrived here for centuries long before the arrival of the Mayflower. The tales will range from the beginning of the Wampanoag and Maushop tribes, the struggles over time, and hope for the future.
In the first half of “Mayflower and Beyond,” these three new works will form a triptych of human dignity and respect, expressed through the most beautiful and powerful music imaginable performed by the human beings of the Cape Symphony and our special guests.
After intermission, the Cape Symphony will perform Anton Dvorak’s famous "New World" Symphony, a celebration of American potential, highly influenced by the multicultural music he discovered here. After writing symphonies that inspired by the folk music of his native Czech culture, Dvorak came to America and wanted to do the same thing here. Taking inspiration from the Native American and African American folk culture he found here, Dvorak wove chanting, rhythmic connections, and deep emotional expression into his 9th Symphony, entitled “From the New World” but now commonly known as the “New World" Symphony. The music is the perfect artistic summation of what the first half of “Mayflower and Beyond” is about: respect for all cultures and acknowledgement of the beauty and dignity of all human beings, equally.
Read the Show Notes for Mayflower and Beyond.
Alex Berko and Josh Delaney
WAMPANOAG: STORIES FOR ALL TIME
Tonya Wind Singer
NEW WORLD SYMPHONY
Original Mayflower image courtesy of Plimoth Patuxet Museums.