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'The United Symphonies of America'

The Mankato Symphony Orchestra is featured in a new documentary about regional orchestras.Provided

September 27, 2021

The United Symphonies of America? Just ask the Mankato Symphony. That’s the title of a new online documentary that looks at the United States through its orchestras, and it focuses on Mankato this week.  

Even though orchestra mavens have historically referred to the “Big Five” orchestras (New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston), that list is history.  It’s barely relevant to what’s happening across the entire United States — which actually is home to about 700 orchestras. These orchestras touch the lives of people in countless ways. Happily, documentary producers have been counting, and their findings stream at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, on a special show, United Symphonies of America.   

It's an hourlong program supporting regional orchestras and the myriad of ways they reach beyond concert performances to their equally important, yet too-often-unsung value as community builders. Through children’s programs, music schools, holiday extravaganzas, diversity initiatives and partnerships with restaurants, art galleries, universities and other regional orchestras, they make a vital contribution in the life of the community.

The program features not only the Mankato Symphony, but also the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the South Dakota Symphony in Sioux Falls and other ambitious regional orchestras.