Back in early 2020, before the pandemic disrupted our lives, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra was hard at work planning our 2020-2021 season with a traditional mix of classical and pops, a focus on Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and a celebration of Maestro Rhodes’ 20th anniversary with the SSO.
By March, circumstances forced us to cancel the remainder of our 2019-2020 season. But despite that setback, our patrons and donors stepped up to donate their tickets back, complete our $50,000 Challenge Match, and fund the Musicians Relief Fund. Your collective generosity enabled us to continue and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
In the months that followed, the Governor’s phased reopening plans for the Commonwealth made it clear that large performing arts venues would not be allowed to open until Phase 4, or when a vaccine is available. That decision forced us to delay the start of our season. But while we are still unsure about when we will be able to perform in Symphony Hall again, we are ready to go, and will be back just as soon as we are assured that our musicians, staff, volunteers, and you, our beloved patrons, can safely gather.
In the meantime, necessity is the mother of invention, or in this case, reinvention.
The silver lining in the unexpected pause in our day to day operations is the opportunity to approach what we do through a new lens.
Since music is our foundation, we quickly pivoted from in-person entertainment experiences to virtual ones. Our well-received Homegrown Video Series, which began in April, has showcased Maestro Rhodes, SSO musicians, youth orchestra musicians, and staff in a variety of performances, talks, and demos from their homes. But that’s just the beginning of what we’ll be offering in our re-envisioned 2020-2021 season. We’re currently planning:
- Virtual Concert Experiences – orchestra members performing a variety of classical and pops music, available to our patrons online
- Chamber Music Concerts – intimate chamber music events curated by Maestro Rhodes in community venues throughout Western Mass, when possible and with social distancing protocols in place
- Virtual and In-person Opportunities to celebrate Maestro Rhodes’ 20th season with the SSO
- Our Spring Gala – a chance to thank our supporters and look ahead to our future, and
- Our Return to the Symphony Hall Stage – just as soon as we are able to do so!
Stay tuned for more information on these and other initiatives as we continue to explore new and intriguing ways to bring you the music of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.
Moving forward this season and next will require all the creativity and collaboration we can muster, but we are more than up to the challenge. One thing these difficult times has taught us is that music and community are essential components of our lives. We will get through this together, and we will come out on the other side a stronger organization and a better, more vibrant community partner.
THE SSO HOMEGROWN SERIES
A weekly video from Maestro Rhodes, SSO musicians, youth orchestra musicians, SSO staff and more. Music, talk of instruments, composers and pieces—something different each week.
Click here to check it out!