Pensacola: Then & Now

Pensacola: Then & Now

Our November Awakenings concert with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Peter Rubardt will showcase an exciting blend of the old with the new in unique—and local—ways. For their event, the PSO has commissioned our multimedia artist, Nicholas Bardonnay, to create a new visual concerto titled Pensacola: Then & Now. What makes the collaboration so special is that the new piece will draw on images created exclusively by community members, both past and present.

Pensacola: Then & Now is a two-part exploration of Pensacola’s rich past and the special qualities that make it such a desirable place to live today. The first part, Then, is happening through a partnership with the University of West Florida Historic Trust, which has opened up their extensive historical photo archives. For the second part, Now, the PSO has called on Pensacola residents to submit their best images showcasing their answers to the question, “What are your favorite things about living in Pensacola?”

The music for the choreography of this broadly collaborative project are the second and third movements from American composer Joseph Curiale’s lovely work, Awakening. The work premiered with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997. Alongside the new community-sourced project, Nicholas will be performing National Park Suite to the first and third movements from Copland’s The Tender Land Suite. Originally created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the visual piece weaves together imagery from over two dozen national parks and monuments in a series of artistic vignettes perfectly timed and blended with the music. Also on the masterworks program are Barber’s The School for Scandal and Dvořák’s New World Symphony.

The concert will take place at the city’s historic Saenger Theatre. For some additional context, here are two press write-ups by the Pensacola News Journal/USA Today and ABC 3 WEAR.

(Sunbathers image provided courtesy of the University of West Florida Historic Trust. Paddleboard image submitted by Benjamin Deavenport.)

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National Park SuitePensacola: Then & NowPensacola: Then & Now

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