In Unison at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra via Facebook

In Unison: In Review

In Unison at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, one of the most unique and memorable event series in Atlanta, closes its current season on May 18. Next season’s launch is in September.

In Unison combines networking and the symphony for Atlanta’s LGBTQ community. Members enjoy a pre-show reception with a free buffet, open bar, and opportunities to connect with other symphony lovers before the show — along with complimentary tickets to other series concerts, discounts on additional performances, complimentary access to the Behind the Curtain virtual concert series, and presale access to special events.

I had the privilege of attending ASO’s most recent performance, the cantata “Carmina Burana,” on March 24. If you are unfamiliar, the show puts to music excerpts from 13th-century poems about hedonism, eroticism, and spring. The orchestra was accompanied by opera soloists and a choir, and to say the performance was breathtaking would be an understatement. Most are familiar with the opening and closing piece, “O Fortuna,” as it is often used in advertisements and television. The drama and emotion of the iconic piece perfectly encapsulate the swell and power of the entire cantata. It’s sweeping and overwhelmingly beautiful, but also really funny and easily enjoyable — something you maybe don’t expect to get from the symphony.

That was the greatest part of the event: how accessible something as cerebral as classical music was made to be. This was my first ever visit to the symphony, and the formatting of the performance — with English translations of the Latin lyrics projected on a small screen above the performers and ample background information included in the program — made it so that a world that I was once not a part of was made open to me.

This accessibility was emphasized by the pre-show In Unison reception. To not only be able to enjoy the distinct beauty of the symphony, but also to bond with new people over it too — people you know are either queer or LGBTQ accepting — is such a special opportunity that makes the symphony, a space that can be perceived as exclusive and cost prohibitive, feel like home.

This season ends on May 18 with Robert Spano conducting Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” Many have speculated about the riot that disrupted the 1913 world premiere of “The Rite of Spring.” What incited such a reaction? Was it the music or the choreography? Was it the subject matter (human sacrifice), or was it personal? No one knows for sure. “The Rite of Spring” might not incite a riot at the ASO, but it will deliver a thrilling sound experience and serve as the perfect celebration of the well-underway springtime.

If you are not yet a member of In Unison, you can buy a single ticket to May 18’s performance and any of next season’s performances, which begin with Nathalie Stutzmann conducting “The Boy’s Magical Horn,” a wondrous world of storytelling drawn from centuries of folk poetry, on September 27. If you are interested in an In Unison membership, it is $200 per person and includes a total of eight tickets. To sign up, visit