Brooklyn Conservatory of Music celebrates culture, music and a turning of the pandemic corner
More than 150 musicians brought 20 neighborhood stages to life
The streets of Park Slope were alive with music on Saturday, May 15 during the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s (BKCM) Spring Benefit, a free community music festival that spanned 20 stages – including stoops, sidewalks, school lots and gardens.
BKCM invited its neighbors to enjoy more than 150 musicians, including BKCM students and faculty, as well as local artists and world-renowned musicians like the Grammy Award Winning Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, who kicked off the festivities at the event’s Main Stage – P.S. 321. Everything from hip hop to classical, sea shanties to ’80s covers could be heard during the outdoor festival, creating a joyful and reinvigorating moment for a city turning the corner on the pandemic.
“During a year in which lives were so profoundly disrupted, we knew that music education would be more essential than ever,” said BKCM Executive Director Chad Cooper. “We worked hard to remain a hub for the community, closing for only three days, quickly pivoting to meet the needs of thousands of our students and clients – and all without layoffs, furloughs, or reduced wages for any of our 165 faculty and staff. Our free Spring Benefit allowed us to thank our community for remaining with us through challenging times, support musicians whose careers have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and give the gift of music to our neighbors and partners across the city. We couldn’t be any more thrilled to have brought thousands of people together with music and help turn the corner on a really tough year.”
In addition to more than 1,500 BKCM families, friends and festivalgoers, other guests seen moving to the music included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Zellnor Myrie, District 39 Council Member Brad Lander, and District 52 State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.