TROY — The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and WEXT announced a new online event, the UpLift Commissioned Music Series, last week.
This series is free and open to the public, no ticket required. Links to view the videos and links to the after premiere discussion will be made available closer to the performances.
The Hall worked with Sophia Subbayya Vastek and Sam Torres, of Organ Colossal, to commission local artists to participate. Vastek and Torres originally curated the Hall’s Lift series, a successful program that invited a small audience to sit on the Music Hall stage with the artists as they performed. This series was interrupted by the pandemic.
“As the pandemic crisis unfolded last spring, we began to think creatively about how we could continue our mission of bringing music to our community in this new environment,” said Jon Elbaum, executive director of the Music Hall. “How do you celebrate and promote social inclusion when we all have to practice social isolation? We asked Sophia and Sam to reach out to our strong local music community to create this series. The results are, just like the artists, unique, thoughtful, and a joy to hear.”
The UpLift Commissioned Series is a reinterpretation of the Lift Series, a way to safely continue to bring new and talented musicians to an audience now at home. It features one new song from each artist, commissioned by the Music Hall. These new works reflect the emotions and experiences of the musicians during the last year. Each performer has filmed a video of their song, performed onstage at the Hall, which will be premiered on YouTube and Facebook. Each video premiere will be followed with an online discussion with the artist where the audience will be able to ask questions and interact with one another.
“The pandemic has been devastating to musical communities everywhere,” said Sophia Vastek. “As we set out to curate this series, we wanted to uplift, celebrate, and support the marvelous talent that we have right here in the Capital Region.” Each of these artists have contributed so much to our community over the years, and the works that they’ve created for this project speak powerfully to this specific time and place that we’re in. The works and performances are joyful, deeply honest, and a microcosm of a larger musical community that has been transformed in more ways than one over the past year.”