South Carolina Philharmonic, Harvest Hope Team Up to Feed Midlands’ Hungry

February 11, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – February 11, 2009 – A national collaboration spurred by an upcoming movie release is allowing the South Carolina Philharmonic to help Harvest Hope feed the hungry in the Midlands through a Saturday, March 28 food drive.

Inspired by the upcoming film The Soloist, the League of American Orchestras; Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization; and Participant Media have joined forces for Orchestras Feeding America, a large-scale national food drive that will take place in Columbia during the SCP’s Master Series concert “Portraits” at 7:30 p.m. on March 28.

The SCP was one of the first of more than 160 orchestras in 45 states currently participating in this unprecedented coordinated effort by collecting and donating food to their local food assistance agency or food bank within Feeding America’s network of more than 200 food banks and 63,000 agencies.

“The South Carolina Philharmonic has had a season’s worth of near-unprecedented success, but we realize that there are many people who have not. Our board, staff and musicians were eager to join this program to help out and be good citizens of the community,” said SCP Executive Director Rhonda Hunsinger.
Harvest Hope staff are setting up a site to collect non-perishable food items and monetary donations in the Koger Center lobby before and during “Portraits.” Donations from all are welcome, and ticketholders to the concert who donate will receive an appreciation voucher good for half-price admission to a future SCP concert.

The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. and directed by Joe Wright, will be released by Paramount Pictures to theaters nationwide on April 24.  A DreamWorks Pictures/Universal Pictures presentation in association with Studio Canal and Participant Media, the film is based on the true story of the relationship between Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a gifted Juilliard-trained string player whose mental illness landed him among the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. Featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Soloist is a testament to the redemptive power of music and a reminder of our connections to the most vulnerable among us.

America’s symphony, chamber, collegiate, and youth orchestras touch the lives of nearly 30 million people annually, in all 50 states and in virtually every community. In 2006/2007 America’s orchestras performed more than 37,000 concerts, of which nearly half were dedicated to engaging young people and the broader community in the musical experience. Nearly 25% of the music performed by American orchestras was written by American composers; in 2007/2008 the programs ranged from beloved classics to more than 120 world premieres.