Harmonize Lancaster brings musicians and audiences together virtually


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Virtual music festival Harmonize Lancaster is a collaboration between the Penn Square Music Festival (PSMF) and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra (LSO).

For the festival, 12 singers and 56 instrumentalists recorded individual performances from their homes. A videographer then compiled all of the recordings into artsy-Zoom-like videos, which stream on Facebook at 6 p.m. every evening this week.

PSMF Founder and Artistic Director Scott Drackley says the concerts are an opportunity for musicians to share their craft in a time when most performances are on hold due to Covid-19. The productions can be especially meaningful to audiences who are missing performances.

Drackley met Guy McIntosh, executive director of the LSO, at the beginning of this year. They discussed collaborating on a musical project which, at the time, they imagined would be in person. When the coronavirus pandemic made that an impossibility, the two decided to put together this virtual music festival instead.

The virtual shows are “fun and… a little bit whimsical,” says McIntosh. Though of course, both he and Drackley are missing live performances in which musicians and audiences feed off of each other’s energy.

In attempts to reclaim some of that live energy, a handful of LSO musicians got together to create a socially distanced recording of Beethoven’s “Septet” for the winds and strings. It will be in the production on Friday and Saturday.

Harmonize Lancaster started Monday and will continue through Saturday. The performances are available for viewing after they stream on YouTube, Facebook, and the PSMF and LSO websites.

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