It was amazing. It was a wild ride. It was sad to close it down … and I am eternally grateful to the American Federation of Musicians for lifting streaming restrictions on “Invention & Alchemy” for 45 days in 2020 so we could uplift and inspire audiences around the world during the Covid-19 Pandemic ~ and as a fundraiser for the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Because of this, thousands of people watched this award-winning concert, and thousands of dollars were raised for the symphony – and matched by generous donors, including a triple match for first-time donors.
And I got to meet and talk to many of you in the special “Soirée” screening events all over the world – and read your wonderful comments. Like these:
“It’s like you invented a new genre: Orchestral Comedic Theater!” (Ben Cohen)
“It not only broke the stereotype of the harp, but featured so many orchestra members” (Sally Walstrum)
“We’ve watched it 7 times now with the family – and my kids ran out and sang your Garbageman song to our garbage collectors last week. Your Birthday song is now sung to everyone who mentions they’re having a birthday.” (Mia Moran)
“The variety, the stories, the character …just magic!!!” (Laurie Grant)
“It blew me away! I loved it!” (Carol Henley)
“I can’t say enough! The incredible variety and timing was perfection!“ (Gloria Hodes)
We watched TOGETHER
Not only was the concert available for On-Demand Streaming, but we also had Premieres during the opening weekend, Soirees Screenings on select evenings, and Meet the Composer interactive events during the closing weekend. At these events we met live for pre-show virtual cocktail parties and post show “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) sessions, often with special guests, like conductor David Lockington and Timpanist David Gross.
THANK YOU so much for all your support, encouragement, beautiful comments and enthusiasm for this unusual work of art during the brief streaming window in 2020.
There are still opportunities to CONNECT
- You can still watch behind-the-scenes videos from the project – just scroll down on the show-page.
- Here’s the Concert Trailer.
- You can also see THREE chamber ensemble ‘maquette’ concert rehearsals from this project; Maquette #1, Maquette #2 – 1st half, Maquette #2B -2nd Half
- Check out the first part of the “Viewing Party” for “Invention & Alchemy” from the closing night– where I shared the history of the project and some of the behind-the-scenes images.
- You can Watch Deborah Henson-Conant’s TEDx talk, From the Harp.
- Here’s an interview where harpist Shelley Fairplay interviews DHC about “Baroque Flamenco” – the last piece in “Invention & Alchemy”
Join the mailing lists for Deborah Henson-Conant and the Grand Rapids Symphony.
You can still DONATE
You can still donate to the Grand Rapids Symphony and the MP3s CDs, & DVDs are still available at the giving levels in the donation form. For additional videos, please see the “Videos” page of Deborah Henson-Conant’s site.
WHAT IS ‘INVENTION & ALCHEMY”
It’s live concert video that was recorded live in front of a packed 2500-seat hall with an 80-piece orchestra – a combination of stories, theater, humor and an original score. It was composed, orchestrated and performed by Deborah Henson-Conant, with conductor David Lockington and the Grand Rapids Symphony.
The project won everyone involved, from the symphony to the producer, a Grammy Nomination in 2006, appeared as a PBS Special in 2007, and was released on DVD, but it was never available for streaming until Covid-19 created a need for high-quality virtual concerts – and symphony fundraising. In the summer of 2020, for the first time ever, the American Federation of Musicians lifted streaming restrictions so this could be shared with viewers around the world.
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