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VIDEO: New Philharmonia Orchestra & Boston Ballet School Collaborate for Performance of 'Let There Be Peace on Earth'

The New Phil and BBS were able to safely record the performance and edit together a new family friendly program just in time for the holidays.

Newton's New Philharmonia Orchestra (New Phil) and the Boston Ballet School (BBS) have created "Let There Be Peace on Earth," a new digital holiday performance. More than 30 musicians from the New Phil performed and recorded the song in their own home, and then members of the BBS performed a choreographed dance to the music.

Watch below!

Annually, the New Phil and BBS's Newton school have collaborated with Newton's All City Chorus for an energized holiday family program. With COVID restrictions in place, the concert couldn't happen in person. The annual collaboration did not seem feasible in 2020, but the New Phil and BBS were able to safely record the performance and edit together a new family friendly program just in time for the holidays.

"We didn't want to let the holiday season go by without this special message of hope for our audience," said Adrienne Hartzell, executive director of the New Philharmonia Orchestra. "As we all celebrate the holidays in quarantine we need uplifting music in our lives."

While all performing arts are seriously impacted at present by Covid-19, with gathering essentially impossible, more than 30 New Phil players, mobilized by Principal Conductor Jorge Soto, each took on recording their individual parts in their homes. The BBS students, under the leadership of Tamara King, principal, danced the choreography of Ms. King, either in small ensembles in their Needham Street studio or virtually from their homes. South African soprano Goitsemang Lehoybe provided the incredible vocals, and Francisco Fernandez guided the music and initial video production, while Igor Burlak from Boston Ballet collaborated with the dance video and editing.

Written by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller in 1955, "Let There Be Peace on Earth" was initially written for and sung by the International Children's Choir in Long Beach, California. The song is performed worldwide throughout the year, and particularly during the Christmas season, which has led to it being considered a Christmas song.

Boston Ballet School has been a national leader in dance education since its founding in the 1950's. The diverse programming of the school has grown significantly in recent years with more than 1200 students a week taking part in their classes. New Philharmonia Orchestra was founded in 1995 by the orchestra's players together with Founding Music Director/BSO violinist Ronald Knudsen. Ron's keen interest in collaborative programs led the New Phil and BBS to many collaborative projects including the annual holiday program. BBS Principal, Tamara King, is a community leader for the arts and a board member of the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce. Jorge Soto, New Phil's Principal Conductor and a native of Venezuela, has served as conductor for these collaborative projects since 2018.

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