November 5, 1995, the Wild Ginger Philharmonic gave its debut concert
at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion in Philadelphia. There were
roughly twenty people in the audience. Over the years, Wild Ginger has
built a substantial public following that consists of seasoned concert
goers as well as young professionals, teenagers, and students who would
not normally find themselves at a symphony orchestra concert. Many of
our younger audience members are attracted by Wild Ginger's non-traditional
approach to musical performance.
Beginning in 1997, Wild Ginger Philharmonic began rehearsing in a
retreat setting. The orchestra found it greatly facilitated the communal
feeling. It allowed for an unrestricted number of rehearsals and sectionals
in preparation for each concert. Wild Ginger continues to rehearse on
retreat, where the musicians are able to rekindle their love of music.
All of the musicians in the group are outstanding players. Many are
international soloists and competition winners who come from the top
music schools in America and abroad. The ample amount of rehearsal time
combined with a supportive environment, allows all of this superb musicianship
to be explored to its fullest. Wild Ginger is also able to experiment
with performance practice techniques that have been lost over the past
hundred years. These include increased use of tempo rubato, portamento,
and the expressive use of ornaments such as the vibrato. Underlying
the entire concept of the orchestra is the spirit of improvisation,
a vital component of Western music until the early part of the 1900's.
Paradoxically, Wild Ginger's generous amount of preparation allows much
greater freedom and spontaneity during performance.
During performance, Wild Ginger is able takes enormous risks that
inhibitions would otherwise censor. Our performances are truly extraordinary
experiences. Because we develop a strong, loving connection to the music
and to each other at retreats and at concerts, we simply open up that
connection and invite the audience to participate in the experience.
This makes for an intense excitement for both musicians and audience.
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