New American Songbook Orchestra's mission is to rejuvenate American vocal and orchestral music to date, in effect, re-examining the cornerstones of American ideology. We aim to promote true American ideals—inclusion, diversity, and our melting-pot culture—through the performance of American music from musical theater, jazz, film and classical genres. With diverse musicians of all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual identities, and genders, we hope to inspire a movement of social acceptance.
What does it mean to be an "American?"
The New American Songbook Orchestra is a fresh, new orchestral ensemble based in New York City that seeks to answer this question.
The ensemble, at it's core, derives much of its performance literature from what is considered The Great American Songbook—a colloquial term that came about in the 1980s to describe a popular set of American songs. This collection typically encompasses musical theater and jazz literature of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
NASO seeks to adjust this “Golden Age” image of American history by implementing materials that to have gone by the wayside in the eyes of popular culture and mainstream media by uncovering composers- such as William Grant Still- that were overlooked because of the color of their skin, adding to the standard canon new works of living composers that already have and continue to impact the American musical landscape, and promoting American artists of all ethnicities, all sexual and social identities, and all genders.
Being an American in the 21st century involves embracing our culture of “every culture”. The Great American Songbook may be the paradigm of “Golden Age” America, however, we at NASO believe the best years are yet to come—an America that is free of prejudice of any kind, an America that embraces its melting-pot origins, an America that is unafraid to claim its true colors.
Make a tax deductible contribution to NASO through Fractured Atlas (a 501(c)(3) public charity). What will your help support?
All contributions will be put towards funding our first full orchestra concert in May 2018.
Lorraine Lugo • Simon Morgan • Anonymous (15)