December 17, 2018

From the Fellows: Behind the Scenes of Face Off!

Face Off

Second-year Bass Fellow Andrea Beyer takes you behind the scenes of her concert-contest hybrid event Face Off: A Battle of the Instruments (January 5 at the New World Center). 

One of the great things about being a New World Symphony Fellow is the many opportunities we have outside of the orchestra, one of which is to design and execute a concert for the main performance hall in the New World Center. I was so excited to have my idea chosen this year, and I can’t wait to see it come to life on January 5. I hope you’ll join us for Face Off: A Battle of the Instruments!

As a young orchestral musician, I want to get other people excited about classical music and show that it doesn’t fit the stereotype of being boring and elitist. With this concert, I’ll show that classical music is a fresh and fun form of entertainment by putting on a competition of instruments where they audience votes in real time, similar to shows like American Idol and The Voice.

In Face Off, there are six instruments competing for your votes, but no one on stage is left out. (We’ll have a video of those instruments who didn’t make it to the performance round at the beginning of the concert!) The orchestra will feature each competitor and then you’ll vote by phone for your favorite! After the second and final round with the top three instruments, you’ll get to vote again to choose the winner.

You and your fellow audience members will have complete control over the show, which will be exciting for the orchestra since we won’t know exactly what will happen until the concert itself!

After I learned that my idea was chosen as this year’s Fellow-designed concert, my first step was to put together a team. I wanted a diverse group of instruments to give us a spectrum of ideas from the orchestra, and I was lucky to get Horn Fellow Corbin Castro and Clarinet Fellow Angelo Quail on board. I think putting together the team was the most crucial step of the planning process because these guys are AMAZING, and I can’t imagine what the concert would look like without them. 

Corbin, Andrea and Angelo
From left to right: Corbin Castro, Andrea  Beyer and Angelo Quail

The next major step was to identify a host, our own Ryan Seacrest or Carson Daly. We were thrilled to book Irie, the celebrity DJ of the Miami Heat as well as a local entrepreneur and the head of the Irie Foundation, which works with at-risk youth. We’re so excited to collaborate with a local figure from a different side of the music world to really show the connection between all kinds of music and entertainment!

DJ Irie
Irie will be Face Off's host!

Over the last three months, our team has seen a lot of the inner workings of New World Symphony and the amazingly creative people who work here. There are so many details to a performance that we as musicians take for granted, like the advertising, the program design, and of course the important choices about what music to actually play. Because our concert is so different, other issues have come up as well; the musician’s clothes (we’re not wearing formal black clothes for this one!), special lighting and short videos to show during the concert.

Planning and shooting the videos has been one of the most exciting parts of the concert, especially the video of “failed auditions” for the instruments who didn’t make it into the competition. We recruited some of our colleagues in the orchestra to come up with ridiculous characters, sometimes playing instruments they barely know how to play and one that doesn’t belong in the orchestra. Angelo and I were the judges. Here's a behind-the-scenes look:

Andrea as judge

Face Off: Behind the Scenes

Andrea and Angelo as judges

I can’t wait to see all of these pieces come together on January 5, and to finally share this concert with Miami! I hope you’ll join us, the musicians, as we play our hearts out and compete for your votes, and I hope that everyone who joins us sees a whole new side of the orchestra world!

Saturday, January 5 at 7:00 PM
New World Center

Fellow-driven projects are sponsored in part by the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation. This project is supported in part by the Irie Foundation and a grant from the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research of the Eastman School of Music.

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Posted in: Concerts, Events, Fellows

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