What is the World Civic Orchestra?
The World Civic Orchestra is a gathering of musicians, both professional and amateur, from around the world who have come together to celebrate the world in its differences and similarities through the platform of music. The World Civic Orchestra is a non-profit organization which was incorporated in November 2008 in the state of New York.
Why is there a need for a World Civic Orchestra?
As civilization has entered the digital age, a culture of information sharing and accessibility has transformed the shape of the world. Easy access to information has opened our eyes to parts of the world that had previously been out of sight. Suddenly the ends of the earth don’t seem so far away or so foreign. Unfortunately, as indicated by the current unrest in international affairs, being informed does not necessarily entail understanding. And so during this era of information sharing and international awareness, the world finds itself in a divisive state. The lines of religion, culture, economic status and political ideologies have thickened and become harder to cross.
The World Civic Orchestra is the musician’s response to these divisive times. No matter the personal ambitions of each musician, every musician has a common goal grounded in music: to gain a mutual understanding of a given piece.
In its unique composition of players from all around the world with varying backgrounds, the world civic orchestra aims to bridge gaps amongst its musicians through the churns of the artistic process. Music inherently has a voice of its own where the usual hot topic issues of politics, religion and class take a backseat. That is not to say that music is not immune to the cultural elements that influence its creation. Elements that encourage division through solidarity speak to nationalistic pride, as exemplified by the deliberate choice of languages used in operas or pieces written to invoke a revolution. But all of these contextual facts become a part of the unique dialogue recognized as the artistic process through which a better understanding of the piece can be achieved.
History has seen music serve the world as a type of diplomacy where other forms have stalled or failed. The Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and most recently, the New York Philharmonic all played pivotal roles in diplomatic history as artistic ambassadors to the Soviet Union, China and North Korea, respectively. Whereas these orchestras shared the joy of music with audiences of its host country, by bringing players from different corners of the world together, the world civic orchestra hopes to encourage musical understanding amongst its diverse players and then share that understanding with audiences from various world stages.
Among the many orchestras that exist today there are few, if any, which are open to international players of all levels and experience and offer its players the opportunity to perform in some of the world’s most preeminent music halls. This is what the world civic orchestra aspires to achieve. It is a lofty, but simple goal that is grounded in every musician’s basic love for music and timely during this age of globalization.