America250 | Commemorate this historic milestone

May 9, 2024


The 2025-26 Season will mark the 250th anniversary of the United States. 

This is your golden opportunity to feature programs and projects that celebrate and commemorate America's past, present, and future. 

Join us in a grand celebration of innovation with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, bringing to life the marvels of the Great World's Fairs. Experience the power of protest music with Palaver Strings, a tribute to our nation's history of social movements and historical events. Witness the classical and jazz worlds collide with the Akropolis Reed Quintet, centered around the American identity and the strands that form our collective identity. 


For more information on our artists and their availability, please contact Oni Buchanan.



Meet Me At The Fair! | Music From the Great World's Fairs

“. . . an important American treasure . . . not just a pleasure to hear but for many a true revelation."

The Wall Street Journal

Meet Me at the Fair! is a two-hour spectacular musical celebration of the world’s fairs, including the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair), the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. Musical “exhibits” rotate, but works by Offenbach, Joplin, Moses-Tobani, and Sousa are the core attraction, performed by Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, the official orchestra and conductor of the U.S. Pavilion of the 1992 World’s Fair.

Learn more about Meet Me At The Fair! HERE


Paragon Ragtime Orchestra 

Now enjoying its 40th season, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world's only year-round, professional ensemble recreating the sounds of early musical theater, "silent" cinema, and vintage dance in America.



A Change Is Gonna Come

“It has been the greatest privilege to compose for Nicholas Phan and Palaver Strings. I am delighted that my new work, Protest Songs, is included on this important album.” 

– Errollyn Wallen, Award-Winning Composer & Performer

Three-time Grammy-nominated tenor Nicholas Phan, joins Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble based in Portland, Maine, and jazz vocalist Farayi Malek.

A Change Is Gonna Come provokes conversation, confronts the past and present, and celebrates the act of protest as one of humanity’s most precious rights. Repertoire on the album - spanning genres, eras, and movements -  includes traditional songs of protest and music inspired by social movements and historical events, including the world premiere recording of a new commission by Errollyn Wallen titled Protest Songs, sung by Phan. Eight of the thirteen tracks on the album are heard in arrangements by Attacca Quartet’s Domenic Salerni.

Read more about the new album HERE


Performance and Lifesongs Project


This 3-day residency explores collaborative music-making, storytelling, and protest through song, emphasizing themes of hope and justice to foster connection. It celebrates the release of the A Change Is Gonna Come album and involves local community members in writing their own stories with Palaver's Lifesongs Project. Following a day of songwriting and revision/demoing, Palaver and the community songwriters present a culminating public performance and process-sharing discussion.


Palaver Strings, alongside Nicholas Phan and Farayi Malek, will come together to perform A Change Is Gonna Come at the Tanglewood Learning Institute performance series, TLI Presents, later this fall.

Learn more about the project HERE


Palaver Strings

Palaver Strings is a musician-led ensemble and nonprofit organization based in Portland, ME. Palaver has made its mark as a forward-thinking ensemble with innovative performances and a community music school.


Are We Dreaming The Same Dream? 

"Brilliant writing, exquisitely performed, and ingeniously conceived!"

– Jennifer Higdon, Pulitzer Prize & Grammy Award-Winning Composer

For their 6th album, the Akropolis Reed Quintet joins forces with Grammy-nominated composer and jazz pianist Pascal Le Boeuf and celebrated drummer Christian Euman

Are We Dreaming The Same Dream? is an examination of what Ralph Ellison calls “the unity of American experience.” With a hybrid ensemble comprised of Akropolis Reed Quintet, pianist/composer Pascal Le Boeuf, and drummer Christian Euman, Le Boeuf deconstructs the fabric of his American experience by recognizing the strands of his musical DNA—Geri Allen, Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Leonard Bernstein. What are the strands that form our collective identity, and are we dreaming the same dream?

Read more about the new album HERE


Live In Concert Experience


Are We Dreaming The Same Dream? is an electrifying concert experience where the classical and jazz worlds collide. Giving themselves complete musical freedom, the powerhouse septet deliver a program of epic proportions, blurring the lines between classical, jazz, and contemporary music.


The complete septet came together for the Akropolis's debut on Michigan's esteemed University Musical Society (UMS) performance series last fall.

Learn more about Are We Dreaming The Same Dream? live in concert HERE


Akropolis Reed Quintet

Founded in 2009, the Billboard charting, 7-time national prize winning Akropolis Reed Quintet is “a sonically daring ensemble who specializes in performing new works with charisma and integrity” (BBC Music Magazine).



For more information on our artists and their availability, please contact Oni Buchanan.