Philadelphia Orchestra pops up in South Philly

Annual Audience Appreciation Concerts will make appearances at PPACS, Citizens Bank Park and more.

Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians string quartet at Suburban Station in 2017, featuring Marc Rovetti, Julia Li, Yumi Kendall, Marvin Moon. (Photo courtesy of Dara Morales.)

Whether sprinting to catch a train at Suburban Station or pondering lunch options at the Reading Terminal, if you happen to be out and about anywhere in Philly on Monday, Sept. 17, the soundtrack to your day will be courtesy of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians, an organization composed entirely of instrumentalists from the Philadelphia Orchestra, will host its Audience Appreciation Concerts — a series of free performances sporadically popping up around the city for 12 hours, including across South Philly.

“We decided a few years ago — we thought we’d have one day to spread across the city and create this beauty,” said South Philly resident and Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Dara Morales, who is musicians coordinator of the event. “Fanning out across the region in neighborhoods and regions we have connections to. Sometimes we’re just in random places.”

From a 9:30 a.m show of a double bass quartet at the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School to a 9 p.m. show of a violins and double bass ensemble at the Phillies game, South Philly will be the site of several performances.

One of the focal and original South Philly shows will be held at the South Of South Neighborhood Association, or SOSNA, Triangles, which is located at 23rd and South streets along Grays Ferry Ave.

A horn quartet will grace the space at 5:15 p.m., which Morales says has been well-received in past series, considering folks tend to wander by the scene as they’re coming home from work.

“The Triangles plaza is a great example,” she said. “Every minute the crowd keeps getting bigger and bigger … you have people who either know the concert is happening or just discover a concert is there.”

Along with growing crowds, the number of performances has also increased significantly since the series’ inception. This year will feature 30 shows — the most to date, featuring more than 90 musicians from the orchestra.

The premise of the day is not solely to beautify neighborhoods with sounds of Beethoven but to break any barriers between the musicians and community members, which is something Morales says can be apparent in intimidating settings like the Kimmel Center.

“The musicians of the orchestra live in this community,” she said. “We are your neighbors, we’re musicians, but we’re your neighbors. … Just having that personal interaction. It’s just a great day to chat and come up and get to know us.”

Overall this “concert crawl” is intended to shed light to the city’s appreciation of the performing arts, plucking some of its most esteemed musicians from concerts halls into the communities that value them.

Aimed toward folks of all ages, all neighborhoods and most importantly, all levels of music knowledge, the scope of 30 ensembles intends to express gratitude to those who know them, while introducing themselves to those who might not.

“We call it our audience appreciation day, because it’s so important. Philadelphia has for so long been a cultural center and supportive the of the arts,” Morales said. “So, we want to take this day to say ‘thank you’ to the audience we have and the audience we might have.”

For a complete list of the Audience Appreciation Concerts shows, visit