Photochoreography in action!
•Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
"Photochoreography struck precisely the chord we sought.
It was heartening to discover that we could produce a concert
program so topically and musically contemporary, as well as so thoroughly accessible and engaging to the community." —Mary Wayne Fritzsche, Director of
Education & Outreach, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra premiered the photochoreography piece Vanishing Forest as part of their "Song of the Rainforest" concert series. The concerts fostered collaboration between the orchestra and many community partners, including:
- Milwaukee Public Museum
- University of Wisconsin
- Hispanic Cultural Center
- Milwaukee Nature Center
- Tirimbina Biological Reserve (Costa Rica)
The highly successful collaboration led to a SYMPHONY magazine cover story and cover image featuring a photograph from Vanishing Forest. The magazine called Westwater’s symphonic photochoreography "the highlight… by all accounts" of the highly successful three-concert series.
•Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
"Our 'Heroes' concert was an excellent example of what we mean when we
say that we are not merely an orchestra in Boulder, but rather 'Boulder's orchestra.' [The concert] demonstrated not only our commitment to offering ways to enhance
and deepen the impact of a musical experience, but also our determination to
reflect our community's spirit of discovery and civic-mindedness." —Michael Butterman, Music Director and Conductor, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra engaged Westwater Arts to create Bravo Boulder!, a new photochoreography piece saluting the unsung heroes of Boulder's nonprofit organizations and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the orchestra’s beautiful performance hall.
Eleven nonprofits, including the Boulder County AIDS Project and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless submitted photographs featuring over 300 staff and volunteers helping in the community as well as those being served. For the concert, the nonprofits staffed several kiosks in the hall's lobby to raise awareness about their roles in the community.
This unique community collaboration is featured in the November/December 2010 issue of SYMPHONY magazine.
Click here to learn more about our new Grand Canyon piece, commissioned by the Tucson Symphony and The Phoenix Symphony.
•Singapore Chinese Orchestra
"It was an instant success
." —Tsung Yeh, Music Director and Conductor, Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Conductor Tsung Yeh and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra commissioned an original piece of photochoreography to celebrate Singapore’s rich heritage as a culturally diverse and globally significant nation. Portrait of Singapore was set to two newly created scores by Singaporean composers and performed during two gala concerts at the Esplanade, the nation's largest performing arts center.
Additionally, the concerts honored the 25th anniversary of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. (SPH), a primary sponsor of the orchestra and the country’s foremost media company. To create the piece, Westwater hand-picked over 300 captivating photos from the vast photojournalism archives at SPH. The premiere was attended by several major donors as well as important Singaporean government officials.
•Springfield Symphony Orchestra
"One of the most innovative and synergetic vehicles for community
involvement that I have ever encountered in the concert hall." –Peter Stafford Wilson, Music Director and Conductor, Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Springfield, Ohio, is an urban center surrounded by farmland. The innovative concert, "Agriculture and the Arts: Growing Together," was the first-ever classical concert devoted entirely to honoring agriculture and rural life. Because of its community focus and emphasis on a previously untapped audience base, it attracted many partnering organizations, and the SSO won a $106,000 competitive grant from an extraordinary source: the U.S. Department of Agriculture!
The community partners included:
- The Ohio State University
College of Agriculture
- Cooperative Extension Service
- Clark County Farm Bureau
- Local 4-H clubs
- Local Future Farmers of America
- Springfield Historical Society
- Springfield Arts Council
- Springfield Public Schools
The sold-out premiere and heightened local interest prompted the orchestra to add two additional performances. Media attention included 52 articles in newspapers across the country, a national television spot and radio airtime on the CBC and the nationally syndicated Paul Harvey Show. Requests for a concert DVD came from as far away as Japan.
•Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
and Akron Symphony Orchestra
"A masterpiece! Jim's work far surpasses anything else of its kind I have encountered…mostly because his work communicates with the same awareness of spirituality and inner life which is the essence
of great music." —Christopher Wilkins, Music Director, Orlando Philharmonic, Akron Symphony and San Antonio Symphony (emeritus)
The Orlando Philharmonic and the Akron Symphony commemorated the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth and the NAACP’s centennial with a commission of the new photochoreography piece, The Eternal Struggle. Since its commissioning, The Eternal Struggle has been in high demand by orchestras. One such performance was a Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute concert with the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
The piece was also featured in SYMPHONY magazine’s coverage of orchestras’ innovative use of multimedia.
Photochoreography engagements include the principal orchestras of Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburgh,
Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Dallas, Vancouver, Baltimore, Milwaukee,
Detroit, Cincinnati, Saint Paul, Indianapolis, Houston, Portland,
Denver, Saint Louis, Columbus, Rochester, Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Singapore and Scotland, plus over 150more >
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1) Santa Barbara Symphony
"The Santa Barbara Symphony concerts featuring the photochoreography of James Westwater rank as our second best ticket draw of all time (the first was Beethoven's Ninth Symphony). For our concerts with Westwater, we sold $23,000 worth of tickets at out theatre box office from walk-up patrons alone. My most pleasant surprise with Westwater's photochoreography was that no one has expressed the typical concern that the visual stimulus detracted from the music." —Robert Birman, Executive Director
2)Jackson Symphony Orchestra (TN)
"I believe that this particular program...
may have gone a long way toward making classical music more relevant and accessible to our audience." —Fran Goldman, Executive Director
3)Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
"This was the best educational concert we've ever done." —Chair, Baltimore Symphony Education Committee
[Note: Westwater does educational concerts as well as classics, pops, family, festival and chamber music concerts.]
4)Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
"Spectacular to behold... This creative interplay
of sight and sound was instrumental in drawing
an entirely new audience to our hall." –Gideon Toeplitz, V.P. & Mng.
5)Reno Philharmonic Orchestra
"The concert quickly sold out with... a waiting list which grew to six-pages long." —Barry Auman, Executive Director
6)Wyoming Symphony Orchestra
concert! Terrific response... excellent audience development!..." We had a "very new audience... a lot younger." Westwater was "very organized... very helpful in all aspects." I "especially liked all the support materials for marketing; ads, tapes, videos." Westwater was "very positive and upbeat... very helpful with the media. We received more media attention for this concert than any other we've done." —Holly Turner, Executive Director
7)Valley Symphony Orchestra (TX)
"I noticed probably a 60% increase in faces 30-55 years of age. A number of audience members remarked that they did not know a symphony concert could be so enjoyable." —Barry Horn, Executive Director
8)Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra
only did it bring the largest audiences to the masterworks series, it gave our audience members a fresh perspective on some of the most popular orchestral literature." —Robert Alan Reed, Executive Director
9)Long Beach Symphony Orchestra
"The experience we just had at the LBSO with James Westwater was one of joy and upliftment. It was a week to remember as 21,000 greater Long Beach residents experienced his exquisite work together with our orchestra." —Priscilla Munson, Artistic Director
10)Syracuse Symphony Orchestra
better integration of images and sound." —Daniel Hege, Music Director