DAYTON, OHIO (June 21, 2021)Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO) musicians, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will join together this summer with churches in the greater Dayton area to celebrate the human spirit through the universal medium of music with a virtual Stained Glass Series Concert Series for the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 2020-2021 Season.

On Sunday, June 13 at 5:30 pm, the DPO, together with New Season Ministry from Huber Heights, Ohio, presented the first of these uplifting virtual Stained Glass concerts. The next few virtual concert dates will be presented this summer with Omega Baptist Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church and The Inspiration Church. Additional churches interested in participating in this Stained Glass Concert Series can contact Neal Gittleman at [email protected]

The Dayton Philharmonic’s Stained Glass Concerts are part of a series of community outreach efforts called the Norma Ross Memorial Community Concerts in honor of the late Mrs. Norma Ross, a tireless advocate for the arts and minority youth. This unique season marks the 16th year that the DPO has been performing Stained Glass Concerts in the Dayton Community. The 2020–2021 Virtual Stained Glass Series Concerts are made possible by the The Harry A. Toulmin and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund of the Dayton Foundation, The World Religion Foundation, and Bob Ross Auto Group.

The 2020–2021 Virtual Stained Glass Series Concerts will follow closely the traditional Stained Glass concerts from past season, which include a traditional classical symphony, music by an African-American or African-descended composer, and a gospel finale.

The concerts will feature Beethoven’s sparkling Fourth Symphony, complete with signature Beethoven stylings of infectious energy and rhythm balanced with beautiful lyrical melodies. This performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony is a continuation of a celebration by the DPO of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and was recorded and presented this past fall as the DPO took the stage once again during COVID-19 to perform together in a safe and socially-distanced format in the Schuster Center.

The concert also features music by African American composer Florence Price. Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1927, she and her husband moved north and settled in Chicago. Price was the first African American woman to have her music played by a major symphony orchestra. However, until 10 years ago, her compositions were largely forgotten until new homeowners of her residence in Chicago were doing a renovation and found a trunk filled with her music. Since then, the compositions of Florence Price have found a new life and are being played by orchestras around the world.

The June 13th Virtual Stained Glass Concert with New Season Ministry opened with an introduction, invocation, and benediction from New Season Ministry’s Pastor Kent O. Johnson, and the concert came to a glorious end with the New Season Ministry choir performing two pieces, under the direction of Music Director Ray Turner. The first was a virtual performance of a stirring New Season Ministry original piece entitled “My Worship.” Then the choir performed an uplifting work called “Back Where I Belong,” arranged by Neal Gittleman and accompanied by music from the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The spotlight shone on powerful soloist Felita LaRock.

The Dayton Philharmonic and New Season Ministry celebrate together in life-affirming energy and optimism with a presentation of classical and spiritual music that fills our world with joy and hope. Both organizations wish to extend an open invitation to the community to view this Virtual Performance from the comfort of home by visiting https://vimeo.com/559182176. This virtual concert will be available until June 27, 2021.

For release dates of future Virtual Stained Glass Concerts, visit the Dayton Performing Arts alliance at www.daytonperformingarts.org.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio’s cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year “Music Alive” grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.