At a time when the nation is hurting and divided over racial, gender, and economic issues, the Church at Clarendon is offering a multi-ethnic evening concert and gathering Sunday November 11. The GoGo Symphony, an apt multi-ethnic orchestra which fuses Washington DC’s go-go music with classical, will provide the interactive entertainment.
The event, titled “Becoming Better Together,” is the church’s unique way of celebrating the first pastoral anniversary of Rev. Danielle L. Bridgeforth, its first African American and woman pastor. The Church at Clarendon, formerly the First Baptist Church of Clarendon, was founded in 1909 by a predominantly white congregation. Today, the church is deliberately multi-ethnic and multi-generational, with a membership coming from diverse socio-economic levels and denominational backgrounds. In 2017, the church called “Pastor Danielle” to be its Senior Pastor. Theologically trained, she is a unifying and energetic figure who is welcoming and engaging.
“I hope this celebration will draw people of all kinds of ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, etc. together in face of our divisive political climate. I have that hope for our worship services in general, but I hope that such a celebration will draw people that we haven’t reached before,” said long time church member Ellen Bartlett. “Pastor Danielle is the first woman pastor – that in itself is historically significant and an indication of a broadening of the church’s scriptural understanding of the role of women over the years… That she is African-American is, of course, significant as a recognition of the diversity of our congregation, very different from what it was back in ‘early days,’ though we had Vietnamese and Hispanic adjunct congregations years ago.”
“This church is amazing because I can meet so many different kinds of people right here in my neighborhood,” said Liza Figueroa Kravinsky, a church going resident of nearby Lyon Village. “I hope more of my neighbors would consider taking advantage of this opportunity, if only during this event.”
Pastor Bridgeforth said, “This celebration is not just about me. More than that, it’s about honoring what God is doing in our church and community. It’s an opportunity for us to affirm that we are stronger and healthier when we remove barriers and learn to worship, work, and witness together. This is how it will look in Heaven, we might as well get used to it now.”
The “Being Better Together” concert will take place at the Church at Clarendon, 1210 North Highland Street, Arlington VA 22201, on Sunday November 11 at 5 pm. It is free and open to everyone in the community. Enter via the side lobby on Highland Street. For more information, visit 1bc.org.
The GoGo Symphony is inviting audience members to be part of its official music video and live recording October 27 in Washington DC.
“The audience members will be key to the success of the video and recording, so we want them to look good and party hard. But come early if you want to be in the video. We start filming at 7 pm,” said GoGo Symphony founder, composer, and conductor Liza Figueroa Kravinsky.
Legendary GoGo band Trouble Funk with special guest Sugar Bear will end the evening as the headliner. Comedian Chris Thomas will be hosting the event as well as performing a stand up comedy act.
The critically acclaimed GoGo Symphony mixes a classical orchestra over Washington DC’s iconic gogo beats, creating symphonies people can dance and party to. It has sold out shows in the past with its rowdy atmosphere.
Renowned classical music critic and expert Greg Sandow has called the Go-Go Symphony “Maverick” in the classical world. He wrote, “What I love is the project itself. And especially the way that it doesn’t simply combine pop and classical music — that’s been done quite a lot — but also brings together pop and classical musicians. And in a long-term collaboration, not just as a one-shot, like Grizzly Bear playing with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, or Elvis Costello creating The Juliet Letters with the Brodsky Quartet…All these things are rare, if not unique. And they give the project a kind of street energy not always found in pop/classical collaborations.”
On the other side, Kato Hammond, author of the top go-go music news website “Take Me Out to the Go-Go,” predicts this project will bring go-go music to a wider audience. He feels this project will be a “big deal” in the go-go world.
The show will launch the GoGo Symphony’s two new singles being released in the fall, coinciding with an October 19 TV appearance on WUSA9’s “Get Up DC” and local radio play.
The video shoots starts at 7 pm, Saturday October 27, 2018 at the Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW, Washington DC (the wharf). Come early if you want to be in the video! For tickets, visit TICKETS.