New World Symphony to highlight Harlem Renaissance at event this weekend

As Black History Month kicks into high gear, a local symphony is highlighting one of the most prominent eras of music in the U.S.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – As Black History Month kicks into high gear, a local symphony is highlighting one of the most prominent eras of music in the U.S.

They’re focusing on the Harlem Renaissance, and you have a chance to listen as they honor musical icons this weekend.

This Saturday, New World Symphony is honoring iconic composers of the Harlem Renaissance with a performance called Victory Stride: The Orchestral Legacy of the Harlem Renaissance.

Young fellows from New World Symphony will be led by 12-time Grammy winner Michael Tilson Thomas and maestro Thomas Wilkins.

“It’s such a kick for the players to play. Even when I do it with fully professional players, they almost never get to swing and now they get to swing and it’s legitimate,” Wilkins said.

The Harlem Renaissance, also known as the Golden Age in African-American culture, was during the first wave of the Great Migration.

Black creatives made a space for music, art and poetry.

“All through that period of time, they began to find each other and their audience,” New World Symphony President Howard Herring said.

The impact from that time is still a part of American culture.

Herring says this show is for everyone.

“We intend for them to leave richer, more engaged and more aware of what has happened in this country, to build this culture that we have. All of these threads coming together and then imagining where it’s going to go next,” he said.

“I hope that they get a sense that at the end of the day that there is more about all of us that’s alike then there is that’s different,” Wilkins added. “We all share the same emotions, we all share the same aspirations and the hopes and the dreams that we have. At the end of the day, I also hope everyone walks away enriched and feel that they’re a better human being.”

Saturday’s show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

Click here to purchase tickets. New World Symphony will also have a livestream on its website.


About the Author:

Alexis Frazier joined the Local 10 family in April 2020. The Fort Lauderdale native came to WPLG from the ABC affiliate in Columbia, S.C., WOLO-TV. She's glad to be back in South Florida.