The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra invites the community to two free concerts at Powell Hall this May

May 3 concert concludes the 25th anniversary season of the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus

The region's military bands share the stage with SLSO musicians for an epic joint concert on May 19

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(April 23, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will host a pair of special free community concerts during the month of May – one celebrating the 25th anniversary of the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus and the other featuring U.S. Army and Air Force musicians. The free IN UNISON Chorus Community Concert will be held Friday, May 3, at 7:00pm and the Joining Forces On Stage at Powell community concert is at 3:00pm, Sunday, May 19.

Marie-Hélène Bernard, President and CEO of the SLSO, said: "The entire SLSO family congratulates the IN UNISON Chorus and director Kevin McBeth on 25 years of truly remarkable music-making. Through music, their efforts have brought people together from across the St. Louis region. With deep pride and gratitude, we look forward to continuing our celebration of IN UNISON on May 3. Reflecting on and celebrating the region's history, talent, and diversity in a meaningful way, the IN UNISON Chorus is an artistic treasure and stands proudly alongside the SLSO. We also honor friends and colleagues, the musicians of military bands from Scott Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, who will share the stage with the SLSO winds, brass, and percussion on May 19. This collaboration has been a fruitful one since the inaugural Joining Forces concert in 2017 and we are once again excited to work with these extraordinary musicians in this unique concert experience."

IN UNISON Chorus community concert
On Friday, May 3, the IN UNISON Chorus will perform its annual free community concert. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the IN UNISON Chorus, the concert features gospel music and spirituals, including a special reunion performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing with current chorus members and former members from the chorus' 25-year history. Director Kevin McBeth will be joined by guest conductors Dr. Rollo Dilworth and Dr. Brandon Williams for the performance. Works by Dilworth and Williams will be included in the program. Other concert highlights include music from The Color Purple and a musical tribute to the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965. Typically hosted by one of the SLSO's 33 IN UNISON partner churches in the St. Louis region, the concert this year will be held at Powell Hall to accommodate an expected capacity crowd.

The concert also features performances by IN UNISON Chorus Young Artists, student mentees and mentors from SLSO's Mentoring the Music: Peer to Peer, a joint initiative between IN UNISON and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and SLSO IN UNISON college scholarship recipients.

Formed in the fall of 1994 for a one-time-only performance of Hannibal Peterson's African Portraits, reception to the chorus was overwhelmingly positive and it was made a permanent member of the SLSO family. Since its debut, the IN UNISON Chorus, composed of 125 talented singers from across the St. Louis region, has performed more than 100 times, including twice-yearly performances with the SLSO and a popular free community concert each year. In September 2019, the IN UNISON Chorus will join the SLSO and incoming Music Director Stéphane Denève at the SLSO's annual free community concert in Forest Park to unofficially start the orchestra's 2019/2020 season.

IN UNISON Chorus community concert
Friday, May 3, 2019, 7:00pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Kevin McBeth, conductor
Rollo Dilworth, guest conductor
Brandon Williams, guest conductor
St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus
Members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Presented by Bayer Fund

Note: This concert does not feature the full St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Joining Forces On Stage at Powell
The wind, brass, and percussion players of the SLSO – including two SLSO musicians who are veterans – team up with military musicians from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America stationed at Scott Air Force Base (Shiloh, Illinois) and the 399th Army Band stationed at Fort Leonard Wood (Waynesville, Missouri) for the free Joining Forces On Stage at Powell concert. The afternoon of rousing musical performances features patriotic anthems, military medleys, and an unforgettable performance commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing that includes narration and video. IN UNISON Chorus director Kevin McBeth shares the podium with military band directors in this epic joint performance with some of the best musicians in uniform. This is the second Joining Forces concert the SLSO has hosted with military musicians; the first was in 2017.

Joining Forces on Stage at Powell
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 3:00pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Kevin McBeth, conductor
Lt. Col. Michael Willen, conductor
W01 Michael Becker, conductor
Lt. Brandon Hults, conductor
SPC Jeff Spenner, conductor
U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, Scott Air Force Base
399th Army Band, Fort Leonard Wood
Winds, brass, and percussion of the SLSO

Presented by Express Scripts

Tickets are not required for these concerts, but RSVPs are requested. To RSVP, visit

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as one of today's most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 139th year with the 2018/2019 season and Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève. Widely considered one of the world's finest, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connections – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which has been the permanent home of the SLSO for more than 50 years, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. It presents St. Louis Symphony Live at the Pulitzer, a four-program series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. The SLSO also serves as the resident orchestra for Opera Theatre Saint Louis, with this season marking the 42nd year of their partnership.

The Grammy Award–winning SLSO's impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, acclaimed recordings, and regular touring activity. A sought-after artistic partner by preeminent musicians and composers from across the globe, as well as by local and national organizations, the SLSO enjoys a long history of robust and enduring artistic collaborations that have developed and deepened over the years.

Today, the SLSO builds on the institution's current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Stéphane Denève. Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as Music Director with the 19/20 season, following this season as Music Director Designate. For more information, visit

About the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus
The St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus is an all-volunteer, 120+-voice auditioned ensemble that performs a variety of musical styles, with a focus on the interpretation, performance, and preservation of the music of African-American and African cultures. Chorus members have traditionally come from the IN UNISON Program member churches, but also from area universities and colleges. Chorus members are teachers, nurses, office workers, students, doctors, and people from many other walks of life. Some members have retired from long careers, some are just entering the work force or working on degrees. Many sing in other vocal ensembles or church choirs. All share a love of music and of singing.

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