Contemporary Music With A Twist

Photo by YNO

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CHARLOTTE – In 2012 a wonderful and inspiring music center was founded in Charlotte, NC. It was based on the promotion to create space for new music, the place for performances, access, and education to contemporary music. Born to the community was Charlotte New Music. A place that many were searching for right in the heart of Queen City, this is a space that provides contemporary and experimental composers and musicians with access to tools, education, networking, and so much more. It was a way to bring the disciplines of contemporary classical, avant-garde, experimental, sound art, and electronic music together giving way to a foundation for cross-genre collaborations. The center is a space for more than just composers and musicians. It is a place to gain education, view live performances, and see music and dance collaborations that will just blow the mind. Bringing to life the contemporary classical world that many may not normally be attracted to is actually what the center and the amazing composers and musicians that work there are doing.

CNM logo
Photo by CNM

Charlotte New Music offers a wide range of services. They not only host concerts, international festivals, and workshops relevant to the industry; they also offer monthly open mic nights (returning soon from the pandemic), a professional orchestra, an upcoming youth ensemble, artist development, and composer workshops. This organization offers a variety of services to our community that they would love for everyone to participate in. More information about Charlotte New Music can be found at charlottenewmusic.org.

YNO Logo
Photo by YNO


Through the creation and work of Charlotte New Music, Your Neighborhood Orchestra (YNO) was born. YNO is “a professional graffiti-style street orchestra” founded on the basis of bringing the community together in the most unique way. The mission: “Bridging, innovating, building, providing access, and breaking barriers across the vibrant landscape of original artistry.” It highlights some of the extremely talented and diverse artists from our community, providing a place for composers, musicians from different backgrounds, and diverse artists to come together on one platform to demonstrate the wonderful and eclectic artistry in our area. The co-working space that this foundation has created embraces all the talent that our city has and brings to life the most wonderful experiences.

Stargazer Music Fest
Photo by Ginger Morning Productions

One of their most amazing events is coming up right around the corner. Stargazer Music Festival, co-presented by local hip-hop producers and Your Neighborhood Orchestra, will be happening on Saturday, November 13. The event starts at 7:00 pm and runs through midnight. The whole evening will be filled with concerts, stargazing opportunities, and a night market. It is a family-friendly event and is supposed to be the best planet-gazing weekend in years, so make sure to bring everyone from small to tall out to enjoy an evening full of experiences that you will not get anywhere else. Come out and join at Greenlife Family Farm located at 281 Odell School Road.

For more information on the event and details please visit charlottenewmusic.org/stargazer. Also, feel free to view YNO’s wonderful collection of past events and performances that they have created to be viewed at any time at yourneighborhoodorchestra.com.

“We are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible and making things exist and be accessible,” said Elizabeth Kowalski, composer and Executive Artistic Director, who has been working together with RoyalCity Lif to create the lineup for the festival. The lineup includes interesting performances that present a mix of original hip-hop, experimental electronic, and contemporary classical music. Working alongside them is Master Kie, FLLS, Half Caste, Deku, Starlitmire, and composers Ryan Persaud and Sahasra Anumolu. While at the festival, attendees have the opportunity to gain more information about the new youth orchestra and even sign up for auditions. They are always looking for amazing talent to join their diverse team of creators and performers. Charlotte New Music is also always looking for inspiring board members and staff to join their amazing team to continue seeing what’s possible. Check out their website and learn more information about what this awesome group has to offer.

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Jessica Mentzer
Jessica Mentzer is a mother and freelance writer that loves to travel and write. Whenever she is not traveling with her family or writing she enjoys hiking, canoeing, swimming, and spending time with her two children. She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys watching her children grow and learn each day. Her passion for writing and her love for travel are two things that she loves to share with friends and family.