Philadelphia Freedom Festival

Mann Center for the Performing Arts

2013
$200,000

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

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The Philadelphia Orchestra performs at \Gospel Meets Symphony

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

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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.