While attending an Emerging 100 of Atlanta event with his now-fiancée, Rodgers began to reflect on the black middle class in Atlanta.
“I was really shocked because being from the projects [in North Philly] and growing up rough, there was a different demographic here,” he said. “It was at that moment that I said we need an orchestra here in Atlanta that reflects that demographic. We need an Orchestra Noir.”
The group’s website emphasizes they aren’t striving to be a traditional orchestra. Instead Orchestra Noir strives to raise “the invisible curtain and [bring] classical music to diverse, younger audiences that is relevant and respectful of their community.”
“In orchestral music, sometimes we forget the heritage that goes into it. We forget that you can play R&B [and] hip-hop with an orchestra,” Rodgers said.
Appearing in the Migos’ latest video wasn’t only a smart branding and promotional move for the new orchestra. It was a way to fulfill their mission as a group in front of a mass audience.
The orchestra has come a long way since launching with 25 musicians last March during a performance at Studio No. 7, now nearly double in size.
A 44-piece orchestra will perform in concert alongside producer, songwriter, and Atlanta native Bryan-Michael Cox on March 31. Cox, who has nine Grammys for co-producing albums such as Usher’s “Confessions” and Mariah Carey’s “The Emancipation of Mimi,” said he was looking for a way to blend his work as a songwriter, producer and DJ when the orchestra approached him with the idea to collaborate on the show “A Night at the Opera.”
“I think it’s going to be mind-blowing and powerful,” he said. The performance will have the snazzy, black-tie motif expected of an orchestral affair, yet will be held at Center Stage Theater to attract Atlanta’s young music fans.
Visit ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets for this event. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards fighting homelessness in Atlanta.
8 p.m. March 31, $39-$109. Center Stage Theater, 1374 West Peachtree St., Atlanta. ticketmaster.com