You've no doubt heard the old adage: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." But while any group can rent Carnegie Hall and play a traditional classical music concert, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra took a different route to get there. WBHM's Michael Krall has details...


Spring for Music is festival featuring North American orchestras performing adventurous programming. The ASO was one of six orchestras chosen to showcase their artistic philosophies through distinctive and creative programming.

Curt Long is Executive Director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He's happy for the players and conductor Justin Brown...

I think it's a great external recognition for our musicians and for Justin. This is kinda like the "Final Four" of the orchestral word, where your selected from among your peers to come and show the best of what's going on in music in America.

The music hasn't been decided yet but the focus will be on things the Alabama Symphony does best such as new and contemporary music as well as certain elements of the core repertoire.

It's an orchestra that has a very clear sense of what it's doing artistically; it has a commitment to a fairly broad range of repertoire.

Thomas Morris is the festival's Artistic Director...

We believe that first having a point of view is essential. And having a point of view which is practiced in what they're doing is really important...in all of those things the Alabama Symphony was simply outstanding.

Playing the Spring for Music festival is less expensive than renting the hall and buying your own advertising, but the ASO still has to incur the expense of getting all their musicians to New York. Again, Executive Director Curt Long...

What I think we will end up doing is going out ad asking some of the symphony's biggest supporters and biggest cheerleaders and people who want to see Birmingham's image promoted outside of the community to help us fund this extra project.

Festival director Thomas Morris says that while performing at Carnegie Hall as an achievement itself can be overrated. But he also sees some upside...

It's like a sports team. When you go to another city, play against a very competitive team and play real well, it improves the quality of the team. So it's not the simple fact of we're good enough to get there...it has a lasting effect and positive effect on how an orchestra performs and how it sees itself.

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will play in the second season of the "Spring for Music" festival, making their Carnegie Hall debut, in May of 2012.

~ Michael Krall, May 18, 2010.