The pandemic cast a spell of sleep over many arts organizations, all around the world. We all have missed the joy of sharing directly. Because one of the Juno Orchestra Project’s structural tenets is to give opportunity for wonderful regional players to explore music with curious audiences, Juno has been resting quietly, waiting for the opportunity to reconvene with our enthusiastic audience.
Juno has lifted her head and has created a new, four-faceted project: Juno Singles.
Part One: Juno has engaged four local composers, commissioning each to craft a 10-15 minute work for string orchestra. We have secured new compositions from (clockwise from upper left) Derrik Jordan, world music specialist; Robert Merfeld, pianist and chamber music coach; Dana Maiben, violinist and Baroque music specialist, and Eugene Uman, director of Vermont Jazz Center.
Part Two: In May, June, and July 2021, Juno Orchestra workshopped each composition, one at a time. Documentary videos capture each limited-audience performance and include insights from each composer. Watch the videos:
- Suite for an Imaginary Country by Derrik Jordan
- Juno Variations by Robert Merfeld
- Vermont Seasons by Dana Maiben
- Struggle for Optimism by Eugene Uman
Part Three: We are very excited about the creative collaboration with Serenity Smith Forchion of Nimble Arts. Following each Juno workshop recording, individual artists or small teams from Nimble Arts created acrobatic responses to each composition. Videos present both the acrobatic artists over the Juno performance audio. Watch the videos:
- Response to Suite for an Imaginary Country, featuring artist Serenity Smith Forchion
- Response to Juno Variations, featuring artist Jan Damm
- Response to Vermont Seasons, featuring artists Ariele Ebacher, Brooke Locke, and Rachel Rees
- Response to Struggle for Optimism, coming September 24, 2021
Part Four: Once we all can get back together, in real time, we will all celebrate– composers, orchestra, acrobats, AND AUDIENCE together! Given the pandemic’s ups and downs, we know well enough to wait to plan. So, more on this as details can emerge.
The Juno Singles Project acknowledges important financial contributions from anonymous (1), Diane Bingham, Jean Boardman, Douglas Cox, Joanne Roberts, Josie Stein, Janet Wallstein, and Mara Williams and Tom Hilsdon.
The Juno Singles Project thanks the four composers, without whose energy and willingness, this project could not have risen. Additionally, Juno thanks Serenity Smith Forchion and the folks at Nimble Arts for their artistry and enthusiasm for this project.
Juno Orchestra also thanks these project partners: Brattleboro Music Center; Bill Esses, recording engineer; Angus King, video engineer and producer; Austin Rice, video engineer and producer; Billy Straus, recording engineer.