by Peter Feher
Ever since the pandemic upended concert schedules, the Akron Symphony has used the opportunity to expand its community offerings. The orchestra played a summer series in 2021, “Outside Voices,” the name alluding both to the changed setting — parks across the city — and to new programming — music outside the standard repertoire.
These initiatives continue this season with the group back home at E.J. Thomas Hall. The orchestra is maintaining its longstanding collaborations, like the annual Gospel Meets Symphony concert, but different this year is the sheer variety of local artists and new pieces that are on display.
“It gives us a cool factor we don’t normally have,” music director Christopher Wilkins said from the stage as an introduction to the world premiere on the program last Saturday, March 5.