Community Programs

Uniting our city through music

Find us in your neighborhood and attend free annual community concerts.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Community Concert Spotlight

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert

2018 concert now available on Adella for free on-demand streaming

For over 40 years, The Cleveland Orchestra celebrates the unifying message and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This dynamic musical program, performed by The Cleveland Orchestra in historic Severance Hall, features outstanding soloists, the MLK Community Chorus, and the presentation of the Community Service Awards.

In the Orchestra’s 41st year of offering music to celebrate and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King, it will provide a variety of ways for individuals to honor him in the safety of their homes from January 14 through early February.

Start Watching Concert Details
Jan. 18 - Feb. 8

Community Celebration

Starting on January 18, Community partners from across Northeast Ohio will join the Orchestra in a virtual Community Celebration, featuring music, theatre, or arts video performances honoring Dr. King’s life and legacy. All are invited to freely access these video performances on the Orchestra’s social media channels (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter).

View Full Schedule
  • This year's Community partners include: Performers from the Inlet Dance Theatre, Karamu House, Djapo Cultural Arts Institute, Cleveland School of the Arts / Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Cuyahoga Community College
  • The celebration also includes historic footage of MLK’s visits to Cleveland, interviews with community leaders who carry on his legacy, and video recordings performed by members of The Cleveland Orchestra highlighting the work of Black composers George Walker, Florence Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and Cleveland native Leslie Adams
Honorees TBA Early February

Community Service Awards

Each year, The Cleveland Orchestra recognizes individuals or organizations who have positively impacted Cleveland in the spirit of the teachings and example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, the awards will recognize several Northeast Ohio organizations for their outstanding efforts to meet the community’s most urgent and basic needs as a result of COVID-19, to address issues of systemic racism, and to use the healing power of the arts to build community.

View past recipients here, and help nominate the next one.

Nominate Today
  • This year's honorees will be announced in a video tribute near the end of the Community Celebration in early February
Interest Form Now Open

MLK Community Chorus

The MLK Chorus lifts its collective voice in affirmation of Dr. King’s vision of justice, peace and human harmony. Assembled since 1989 to sing as part of the annual MLK Celebration Concert, this volunteer community chorus brings together singers from across Northeast Ohio and is directed by William Henry Caldwell.

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Neighborhood Partners

By collaborating closely with local neighborhoods, The Cleveland Orchestra creates long-term, sustainable programs that musically address their unique needs.

Hough & Maple Heights

Hough Lullaby Project

Create a song to express your hopes, dreams, and love for your child

Pregnant and new mothers in Lexington-Bell Community Center's Mom's First program in Hough and Pregnant with Possibilities in Maple Heights work side-by-side with Cleveland Orchestra musicians and music therapists to write a lullaby for their child.

Gordon Square

Gordon Square Music Showcase

Partnering with Gordon Square’s elementary schools, beginning band and choir students performed side-by-side with and were coached by Cleveland Orchestra musicians. The celebratory concert showcased the community’s musical talent and supported and strengthened the school’s music programs.

Slavic Village & Hough

Crescendo

Providing hands-on instrument instruction and coaching, Crescendo ensures that students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District have access to quality music education. Students are guided by Cleveland Orchestra musicians throughout the year. Programs take place during the school year at Mound STEM Elementary School (Suzuki violin instruction), Wade Park Elementary School (trumpet & trombone instruction) and Cleveland School of the Arts (music lessons and coaching).

Community Events

Free & open to all each summer

The Cleveland Orchestra provides activities for families and adults throughout Greater Cleveland each summer, including performances and instrument discovery zones.

Featured Community Concert

Downtown CLE Concert

For the past 30 years, the Star-Spangled Spectacular has provided greater access to music and for the citizens of Cuyahoga County and beyond. This free community concert occurs in Downtown Cleveland every summer for Clevelanders of all ages, led by guest and resident conductors of The Cleveland Orchestra. The outdoor venue features food truck vendors and a spectacular fireworks display following the concert.

  • Supported by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, sponsored by KeyBank
  • Audio captured by Ideastream and broadcast live on 90.3 WCPN and WCLV Classical 104.9

Play It Forward

Give children the pride, the joy, and the lifetime benefits music-making provides

For many of us, it’s difficult to imagine a world without music. But for countless children in Cleveland, this is the reality. Let’s work together to get instruments into the hands and lives of Cleveland’s children. Join Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell, The Cleveland Orchestra, Arts Cleveland, Center for Arts Inspired Learning and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to Play It Forward Cleveland!

Join the Cause