Inauguration Fanfare for Joe and Kamala

In honour of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Classical Movements, in collaboration with world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop, has formed the Hope & Harmony Ensemble. The 14 musicians represent the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Peabody Institute, South Asian Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Utah Symphony. At a time when the orchestra world has been virtually silenced by the pandemic, Classical Movements has made a deliberate effort to bring together orchestras from every part of the country and to reflect the diversity of our people. Half of the performing musicians are women and 6 are musicians of color.

The Music

The performance features two masterpieces of American classical music that perfectly represent our President- and Vice President-Elect:

  • Aaron Copland’s iconic “Fanfare for the Common Man” to celebrate the American people and in honour of Joe Biden; and
  • Joan Tower’s dynamic “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman” for Kamala Harris, our remarkable and “uncommon” first woman Vice President.

An Unprecedented Show of Unity within the Orchestra Industry

The virtual “Fanfare for Joe and Kamala” will be streamed on social media on Tuesday, January 19 at 12pm EST. In an extraordinary demonstration of cooperation between our nation’s top orchestras, this performance will be livestreamed simultaneously by Classical Movements, all 14 orchestras and other partners, with a combined digital footprint of over 7.6 million and growing.

In addition to footage of each musician, recorded in their homes and on site across the country, the presentation incorporates photographs and video illustrating “America the Beautiful” and the context of the struggle for civil rights and equality for women in the United States. Classical Movements has partnered with video and sound engineers Arts Laureate to produce these videos.

The Hope & Harmony Ensemble is conceived, produced, and directed by Classical Movements. In the middle of a pandemic that has so seriously disrupted the classical music industry, they have transformed the necessity of virtual performance into an opportunity to bring together this diverse and representative group of musicians from all over the country in a way that would not have been possible under other circumstances. After 28 years working closely with the nation’s finest orchestras, Classical Movements is uniquely placed to bring together these incredible musicians and gratified by the enthusiastic response from participants and partners.

A Fanfare for Our Times, 12 Years in the Making 

Classical Movements Founder and President Neeta Helms first envisioned an inauguration tribute to honour the first female president during the Democratic primaries in 2008, approaching Marin Alsop before having to set the idea aside. After reviving the idea in 2016 for Hillary Clinton’s potential inauguration, it is only now that the opportunity arrives – assuming additional significance in this historical and cultural moment.

“I am elated to be able to finally celebrate our first female Vice President. I am deeply inspired by Kamala Harris – and as an Indian-born American, I feel particular personal pride that her mother was Indian and in her archetypically American background,” notes Neeta Helms. “In this time of difficulty and hardship, it is also fitting that we celebrate Joe Biden, an example to us all for his ideals of decency and hope and his perseverance in the face of hardship and tragedy. Filling a unique and vital role in the music industry that has been hit so hard by the pandemic, it was essential to us to create an ensemble that represented and celebrated our nation’s diversity, featuring women and men equally.”

Marin Alsop adds, “It’s a privilege to pay tribute to this new leadership team and celebrate this historic moment in America!”

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Roster of Musicians 

Elizabeth Freimuth

Principal Horn, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Jaclyn Rainey

Principal Horn, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Ellen Dinwiddie Smith

Third Horn, Minnesota Orchestra

Nivanthi Karunaratne

Principal Horn, South Asian Symphony Orchestra

Barry Perkins

Principal Trumpet, Pacific Symphony

Jeff Luke

Associate Principal Trumpet, Utah Symphony

Elmer Churampi

Third Trumpet, Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Joseph Alessi

Principal Trombone, New York Philharmonic

Amanda Stewart

Associate Principal Trombone, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

John Lofton

Bass Trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Velvet Brown

International Soloist, Artist Faculty, Peabody Institute Distinguished Professor, Penn State

Scott Christian

Assistant Principal Timpanist, National Symphony Orchestra

Brian Prechtl

Percussion, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Cynthia Yeh

Principal Percussion, Chicago Symphony Orchestra