The Philadelphia Orchestra Offers Recording of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 as Gift to Class of 2020 for Virtual Graduation Ceremonies

Posted on May 20, 2020

Recording to be used at School District of Philadelphia’s virtual graduation ceremony

(Philadelphia, May 20, 2020)—With graduation ceremonies around the world put on hold or cancelled due to COVID-19, The Philadelphia Orchestra offers graduates from the class of 2020 a timeless tradition to incorporate into their virtual celebrations. The Orchestra’s recent recording of Edward Elgar’s traditional graduation march Pomp and Circumstance No. 1is now available for free at for schools and students to use during virtual graduation ceremonies. The School District of Philadelphia will incorporate the piece in its official virtual graduation ceremony on June 9, 2020. Led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the piece was performed at the Academy of Music’s 163rd Anniversary Concert in January 2020. 

“These times are certainly unprecedented for all students, but particularly for members of the graduating class of 2020 who were looking forward to the traditional rites of passage before they begin their next chapters. Music like this provides the soundtrack to our lives, and we hope that this performance will bring a small sense of normalcy to the class of 2020,” said President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky.

“We are honored to have the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra salute our graduates in this very special way. Whenever you hear Pomp and Circumstance, you are immediately taken to a place of pride and celebration,” said Dr. William Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “Our virtual graduation may not be the ceremony that any of us imagined, but having the opportunity to hear this traditional piece performed by one of the premier symphony orchestras in the nation is something we will never forget and an act that our hard-working students deserve.”

In addition to the School District of Philadelphia, the Orchestra has provided the recording directly to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education and to local universities for use in official graduation ceremonies across the city and state.

About The Philadelphia Orchestra

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