A Community Based Orchestra
Disrupting tradition; evolving the medium
The Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra has disrupted the model of traditional classical music performances with creative programming, accessible venues, free attendance, and a lot of fun!
Originally known for their ability to reduce large orchestral works to be played by a 15-20 piece chamber orchestra, the ABCO program has evolved to feature three to four works performed by the entire orchestra, leaving room for any artist within the orchestra and beyond to submit a chamber piece to perform in between the larger works. As a result, ABCO’s concerts have included many eclectic performances: electric violin solos, folk duos, Brazilian art songs, contemporary experimental oboe solos, musical theater, and more, providing a diverse and enriching musical experience for their audiences. The orchestra also performs more traditional pieces in fun and exciting ways – surrounded by dancers from local dance collectives, stomping their feet in La Follia, and using props in Psycho Suite – ABCO’s energy gives traditional pieces new life. Audiences are encouraged to react accordingly, cheering (even between movements) instead of the customary polite clapping.
With classical audiences dwindling across the country, ABCO’s work is more important than ever. By providing free community concerts in accessible venues such as The Nave in Spenard, the Loussac Library, the Seward Marine Center, the Kenai Senior Center, and the Homer Spit Boathouse Pavilion, ABCO has brought diverse and new patronage to classical music.