RALEIGH — The North Carolina Symphony is launching its newest community engagement initiative, a project called “One State, One Score.”

Through this collaborative project, the public is invited to “join the Symphony” virtually by performing a selection from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in Symphony No. 9.

The “Ode to Joy” theme has been arranged for many different instruments as well as vocals, and the parts are available for download to all North Carolinians. Instruments from violin to piano to kazoo are represented, and participants can select their skill level to find a part perfectly customized for them. Participants then simply learn their music, record a video of their performance and upload it via the NCS’s website. The NCS also encourages the submission of visual artwork, dance or any other form of artistic expression inspired by the music.

As many submissions as possible will be compiled into a final video to be released in spring 2021, with the aim of bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together virtually in a collective arts experience.

“In difficult times, connectivity through art becomes ever more important,” explains Sandi Macdonald, NCS president and CEO. “The Symphony strives to build a community of creatively engaged citizens, who experience and approach the world through the lens of innovation, artistry, and culture. ‘One State, One Score’ allows all North Carolinians to become creative artists — and we hope the project will be an effective tool for educators to bring their students off their screens and back to playing their instruments.”

Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is uplifting, joyful music set to poetry that proclaims the ideal of universal brotherhood — making this the perfect musical selection to inspire hope during challenges of the pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, the NCS has been dedicated to continuing to engage its statewide audiences through music. Education programs for students from preschool through high school have been adapted to virtual formats and have reached students in nearly every North Carolina county, in every U.S. state and across the world since March. In September, the NCS launched its reimagined 2020/21 season with concerts streamed to homes virtually.

“NCS is grateful to keep the music playing on, and looks forward to having North Carolina citizens add their own creative voices through ‘One State, One Score,’” noted Macdonald.

For more information about “One State, One Score” and instructions for participation, visit

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