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Rehearsing Philadelphia: A City-Wide Musical Project Exploring Togetherness through Rehearsal

Rehearsing Philadelphia a Meta-Score by Ari Benjamin Meyers

April 04, 2022

Rehearsing Philadelphia is a city-wide musical project exploring the question “How can we be together?” Designed by Ari Benjamin Meyers and jointly produced and presented by Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and the Curtis Institute of Music, Rehearsing Philadelphia culminates this weekend with performances by the first-ever Public Orchestra. All events are free and open to the public, presented in locations across the city and featuring more than 200 multidisciplinary artists.

The four modules of the project are:


Employees from five locations of power in Philadelphia will perform solos created on them at their place of work by five artists. Locations include City Hall, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia School District Headquarters, Philadelphia Police Department Headquarters, and Community Legal Services.


Exploring social engagement, three choirs will invite passersby to learn a song and sing with them. These take place at three different areas of the city, each representing a different kind of collective memory: Baltimore Avenue (sites of personal memory), Independence National Park (sites of hidden memory), and the Ben Franklin Parkway (sites of public memory). 


Imitating family units, or quarantine pods, forty students from Drexel and Curtis have spent the academic year forming small musical ensembles. They will play a songbook of new music in durational performances lasting 3-6 hours.


This module marks the formation of the first ever public orchestra. 50 Philadelphians representing a myriad of musical traditions from the sonic landscape of the city were selected from over 200 applicants. They will perform five new commissioned pieces at the Cherry Street Pier.

View the full schedule of events here.


Major support for Rehearsing Philadelphia has been provided by a grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Curtis Institute of Music, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design