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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Calling all orange county residents! Help inspire a new piece of music for Pacific Symphony’s community project, “OC in Unison”

Orange County, Calif. — January 07, 2015

All forms of expressionstories, art, photography, video and moreare accepted; select pieces to be displayed online and at culminating event on Oct. 4

Pacific Symphony invites all people of Orange County to share their voice and contribute to a new composition for “OC in Unison,” a project created to engage the community in music creation. Guided by the vision of Music Director Carl St.Clair, the Symphony has chosen Composer-in-Residence Narong Prangcharoen to write this new anthem for the county, which is scheduled to premiere on the Opening Night concerts of the 2015-16 season, with a culminating event taking place on Sunday, Oct. 4. Prangcharoen has already begun studying the county and discovering how the region has grown from an area of sprawling orange groves into a thriving cultural community of 34 different cities. He has been inspired by the range of scenery, but has been most influenced by the people he’s met and the experiences they’ve had living here. Prangcharoen is now looking to more people to inspire the heart and spirit of the piece, and invites all residents to share their Orange County narrative.

To inspire the composer, the community can answer the questions, “What Makes Orange County home?” and “What unites the people of Orange County?” through any form of expression—story, song, dance, photography, art, video and social media—and submit them to the Symphony by emailing or using the hashtag #OCinUnison on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Larger pieces can be delivered to the Symphony’s office at 3631 S. Harbor Blvd. Suite 100, Santa Ana, CA 92704. For examples and more information, watch the trailer video or visit OCinUnison.

Submissions are being accepted until March 31 and may be highlighted on the Symphony’s website and social media pages, as well as be displayed in the lobby of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Those who enter receive a discounted VIP ticket to the premiere of this new work on Oct. 4, as well as an invitation to attend the post-concert reception and open-mic with the composer.

“How many times in your life do you have the chance to inspire artists to do their work?” Prangcharoen asks the people of Orange County. “Probably not many. So, this is a great opportunity for you to inspire a composer to write a specific piece of music about the place where you live. I think the most fun and interesting part will be coming to see the concert, where you can hear how your stories and submissions have inspired the music.”

Over the past year, Prangcharoen has been touring the county, talking to people in social settings and visiting cultural landmarks. He’s taken in the picturesque views of the beach cities, visited the cities of Santa Ana, Brea, Orange, Irvine and Westminster, and traveled south to the rustic grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano. And, of course, he took a trip to take in the sights and sounds of Disneyland.

“What I’ve discovered so far is that Orange County has a lot of diversity. We’ve visited the Vietnamese, Chinese, Hispanic and other communities, and people are very proud to be a part of their specific group,” continues Prangcharoen. “What I want to do is create a piece of music where all of these differences are unified. I want people to look at the bigger picture of how they don’t have to just be proud of their own group, but they can be proud of living here and proud of how Orange County represents itself to the world. I want to stress in the piece that we all should be united, and we should celebrate that we’re all here in this county together.”

To further demonstrate how the community’s voice is echoed in the music, Prangchareon is sharing his composing process through a video blog starting in April. He already plans to incorporate musical examples of the various cultures represented in Orange County, as well as include pop music like the Beach Boys to represent the beaches, and church music to reflect the religious presence in the county.

“This is a totally different approach than when I usually write music,” continues Prangcharoen. “Normally, people commission me to write music, and I do what I want. But, in this piece, I have a purpose of writing music for a reason. I think this approach is better, because you don’t have to wait for people to come to your art, but you bring your art into the community. When you write music for yourself, that topic may be so meaningful to you, but it may not speak to people around you. In this case, I am really creating something of meaning for everybody.”


About the Composer-in-Residence

The Chicago Sun Times has called Prangcharoen’s music “absolutely captivating,” and, of his 2012 Carnegie Hall debut by the American Composers Orchestra of “Migrations of Lost Souls,” The New York Times wrote, it is “an atmospheric work that weaves some of the spiritual and vernacular sounds of Prangcharoen’s native Thailand into a skillfully orchestrated tapestry [with] moments of ethereal beauty.” Acclaimed composer John Corigliano has called his music “contemporary and accessible,” and Chen Yi says it is “colorful and powerful.” Prancharoen’s compelling music has awarded him many international prizes, including the Alexander Zemlinsky International Composition Prize and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award. In 2011, Prangcharoen received the Annual Underwood Commission by the American Composers Orchestra, and in 2013, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Barlow Prize.