SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – It’s a new year for the Springfield Symphony as they prepare to kick off their first concert of 2021.
The symphony’s “Smorgasbord” concert is set for Saturday, January 9 at 2 p.m. at Juanita K. Hammons Hall.
The orchestra had to make a few adjustments to its 2020-2021 season, to create a safe experience for its musicians and audience.
Springfield Symphony Music Director and Conductor Kyle Pickett said they’ve done extensive research on how to perform and play as safely as possible. He said, although nothing could be a zero-percent risk, the goal is to decrease all risk as much as possible for the musicians on stage, and for the audience. This is why both musicians and patrons will be masked at all times.
Keeping the orchestra safe:
Pickett explained that they are following the research conducted in a study by the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota, which states various wind instrument produces aerosols and droplets in quantities higher than normal breathing or speaking. Not only will musicians wear masks, but some instruments will have covers and filters on them to prevent particles from spreading. Pickett said that the same research shows how far aerosols can move, which is why everyone will be 6-10 feet apart.
Although there may be noticeable changes in the way the orchestra looks, Pickett assured it’ll still be the same energy and beautiful acoustics. “People who I’ve talked to in the audience who’ve come say they’ve almost started crying because it’s been so long since they’ve had to chance to come to gather and hear live music happening in that same room that they are, and the sound just surrounds them.”
Pickett said it’s gratifying and important that they can put on concerts this season. He explained that very few professional orchestras were able to perform this season amid the pandemic.
“I’ve chosen music this year purposely that is supposed to be uplifting and joyful, and make you feel good and transport you.”
Keeping the audience safe:
No matter if people are experiencing the orchestra virtually or in person, The Springfield Symphony is excited to safely bring live music to the Ozarks.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable coming to the concert, and enjoy some live music because we all need it right now,” explained Jennifer Cotner-Jones, executive director of the Springfield Symphony. “But I just want people to know that we are doing it and we are doing it safely.”
Since September, the Springfield Symphony has had concerts and worked closely with the health department to review safety protocols.
Everyone must wear a mask, and Cotner-Jones said that people are encouraged to come at staggered times. Upon arriving to the concert hall, all the doors will be open instead of the usual single door. This is to limit large numbers from gathering before the performance.
Cotner-Jones said there are limited tickets because there are assigned socially-distant seating with every other row blocked off. “So if I’m sitting next to my husband, then two seats on the side of us are empty, as well as the row in front of us and the row behind us,” she added.
There will be no intermission this season and when the concert is over, everyone will be dismissed by row.
There are Live Stream tickets available so you can enjoy the symphony from the comfort of your home. There are also single tickets available for the matinee performance at 2 p.m. to help with social distancing.
The remaining concerts this season will have special guest attached to them.
For tickets and special guest performance information, click here.
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