Philadelphia Freedom Festival

Mann Center for the Performing Arts



Dr. Marvin Sapp performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra at \Gospel Meets Symphony


The Philadelphia Orchestra performs at \Gospel Meets Symphony


The Philadelphia Orchestra with 2003 Pew Fellow Uri Caine and soprano Barbara Walker at \Gospel Meets Symphony


André Raphel conducts at \Gospel Meets Symphony

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts will present the Philadelphia Freedom Festival, inspired by 19th-century African-American civil rights pioneer Octavius Catto, in 2014 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act's passage. The project's centerpiece will be the world premiere of a new 20-minute work by noted composer and Pew Fellow Uri Caine, to be performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, featured soloists, and a mass gospel choir. Caine plans to blend classical, spiritual, and gospel music, introducing various local audiences to new musical realms. He will also include a libretto based on Catto's legacy. "This is not eclecticism for its own sake but a natural combination of music that seeks to reflect a greater musical whole," Caine says. In keeping with overarching themes of freedom and brotherhood, the concert will include a performance of Duke Ellington's "Harlem," an ode to the Harlem Renaissance, and a gospel setting of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." In fall 2013, the Mann presented related activities, including a mass sing at Philadelphia's Tindley Temple and performances at local schools.