Co-Founder of Orchestra Noir Keisha Rodgers is in studio today to discuss her Atlanta-based nonprofit orchestra. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses Orchestra Noir’s successful three years of operation, as well as their collaborations with famous hip-hop artists and past events on today’s Around Atlanta episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio.
Keisha Rodgers, originally from New Jersey, attended Temple University to pursue a degree in communications. After graduation, she worked for the School District of Philadelphia to help with the art-based after school programs. Rodgers managed two separate centers and then moved to Atlanta to continue her work at the Georgia Department of Education in the Communication Department. After becoming accustomed to life in Atlanta, Rodgers and her husband Jason Ikeem Rodgers, a classically trained musician and conductor, decided to start Orchestra Noir.
“Orchestra Noir is the Rosetta Stone of orchestral music,” said Rodgers. “It bridges traditional classical music like Beethoven with music from our African American culture.”
When Orchestra Noir was first created, it only had seven musicians. The group hosted an event to gain interest and support. The first event only saw 100 people but continued to grow every gathering. The second event brought in over 300 people. By the end of the first year, Orchestra Noir was able to sell out Center Stage to over 800 people. At this point, the group was collaborating Bryan-Michael Cox, Grammy-winning producer and DJ. Cox is responsible for producing albums of well-known artists including Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Toni Braxton. Currently, Orchestra Noir is composed of 40 musicians.
Over the past three years, Orchestra Noir has collaborated with many popular artists and music groups, including hip-hop stars Migos and Two Chainz. The group also appeared in a music video. Not only does Orchestra Noir perform at the local venue, Center Stage in Atlanta, but the group also works events such as weddings, galas, parties and anniversaries. Orchestra Noir performed at Cardi B’s birthday party, as well as an album release party for TI. The group also appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” OWN Network’s “Greenleaf,” Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and BET’s “Boomerang.”
Orchestra Noir is responsible for a “side-by-side” program. This program offers young student musicians the opportunity to learn alongside musicians in the orchestra. The students attend orchestra practices and sit next to their musical counterparts in the professional orchestra. The entire group then plays as if they are one big orchestra. This allows for the students to learn with the professional musicians in Orchestra Noir.
“The kids love it,” said Rodgers. “They feel important and it gives them a whole different experience to music.”
To learn more about Orchestra Noir or to find out how to get involved, visit www.OrchestraNoir.com. You can also contact someone at the nonprofit directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-802-8149.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Orchestra Noir are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (January/2020)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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