Delaware is an amazing and diverse arts-rich state.
In 2021, Delaware’s growing population has grown to just over one million people.
A small state doesn’t always have treasures like those we have in Delaware: a professional symphony orchestra, opera, dance and theater companies; thriving art museums; local artists and musicians of all genres; and indoor and outdoor performance venues in northern New Castle County at the beach that are suitable for acoustic and amplified music.
A graduate-level school of music continues to grow at the University of Delaware, and our nationally accredited community music school (The Music School of Delaware) has been in existence for nearly a century, providing exceptional education to people of all ages and abilities. .
Training programs and amateur opportunities abound for those who want to participate in the arts – community theatre, orchestra and arts programs.
Music, comedy and dance performances are varied and plentiful, and are presented in venues ranging from the Grand, Queen and Wilmington School of Music, Newark’s Gore Hall, Smyrna Opera House and the Selbyville Freeman Stage.
Many schools and churches also host smaller series of performances.
And complementing the performing arts, horticultural attractions and specialty museums of the Brandywine Valley.
Delaware is truly a “state of the arts!” And the arts are a major catalyst for economic and societal health, drawing people from across our region to visit and participate.
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New on the horizon on the Delaware arts scene is Serafin Summer Music, a three-week chamber music festival entering its fourth season with performances beginning Sunday, June 10.
What is special about Serafin Summer Music? A few things come to mind…
Unique for our region, Serafin Summer Music is a festival devoted to classical music in small ensembles for two to eight instruments (strings, piano, winds, voice). It takes place in June, a “shoulder” season before the start of most summer arts programs.
Two public performances in Wilmington and one in Lewes each week invite people to experience the “up close and personal” experience of passionate and exhilarating performances by small ensembles – an incredible musical feast!
This year’s festival brings 15 of the country’s and the world’s top ensemble artists to Delaware, including musicians from South Africa, New Zealand and the Philippines, as well as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore , Oregon, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida – and of course Delaware.
Working together throughout each festival week, the artists prepare (without a conductor) age-old masterpieces by Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Ravel, as well as lesser-known works by composers like Chausson, Milhaud and Jennifer Higdon.
In Wilmington, performances are at the Concert Hall of the Music School of Delaware (Fridays and Sundays) and in Lewes at the Great Hall of Bethel United Methodist Church (Saturdays at 5 p.m.).
Members of the community generously serve as hosts, opening their homes to our guest artists, providing a comfortable and welcoming taste of Delaware hospitality – another version of the “Delaware Way”.
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Many artists return year after year and come to find in Delaware an artistic “home”. Newcomers join each season, forging new professional friendships in the process and occasionally reuniting with colleagues from their past collaboration experiences around the world.
Sponsors and supporters from the private sector, corporations, law firms, restaurants, hotels, media, as well as individuals have volunteered to stand with the arts in support of the festival. These visionary partners understand the value of alignment between the arts and business, and the importance of community enrichment that comes from the performing arts. They recognize that the more we all work together, the more each entity prospers.
Serafin Summer Music’s audience has grown every year, even during the pandemic. Our live performances, sharing this part of our Delaware treasure, reach across the country and around the world.
Promoting Delaware’s artistic riches is KEY to boosting business, education and quality of life for all of our residents. It doesn’t work the other way around.
Boosting our state’s economy, infrastructure and tourism by developing and building on Delaware’s reputation as an arts and cultural destination puts Delaware on the map at a remarkable and new level – regionally, nationally and beyond.
Serafin Summer Music is a dynamic and growing part of this initiative – and we are grateful to everyone who found a way to sponsor the festival and to the partners who support us.
It’s Delaware – STATE OF THE ARTS! Join us in June for Serafin Summer Music!
Kate Ransom is the Artistic Director of Serafin Summer Music and President/CEO of The Music School of Delaware
Open Call is a weekly column that offers Delaware arts and culture organizations the opportunity to share their vision, challenges, and upcoming programming with our readers. Groups interested in participating can email Editor-in-Chief Tammy Paolino at [email protected]