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Okanagan Symphony Orchestra adapts during COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video: 'Okanagan Symphony Orchestra takes performances online amid pandemic' Okanagan Symphony Orchestra takes performances online amid pandemic
Okanagan Symphony Orchestra takes performances online amid pandemic – Mar 12, 2021

Music is the soundtrack of our lives, and it powers the hearts of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra as they continuously adapt to bring music into the living rooms of their audience.

“In years to come, when we look back at the performances that we have shared in this time, it will be a stark reminder of when we were required to wear masks,” said Rosemary Thompson, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor.

The symphony orchestra is digging deep into its repertoire, finding the hidden gems that are waiting to be brought to life on stage once again but with a smaller orchestra and a virtual audience.

“We are at least six feet apart when we are just with strings or percussion, because their instruments don’t require the breath through the instrument,” said Thompson.

“When we have winds and brass we have nine feet apart and we wear masks.”

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However, it’s not as simple as social distancing and livestreaming. It’s all in the ear for the musicians.

“The musicians are really used to sitting quite close together on stage, so that makes such a difference for how they hear each other… their sound is more spread out,” said Thompson.

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“It just doesn’t feel as immediate and it makes them harder to hear when they are that spread out, and of course that’s where I can help out because if they are all following the stick at the same time. But the musicians in an orchestra really rely on hearing each other.”

The all-strings performance will perform works of Gustav Holst, Tchaikovsky and Jocelyn Morlock’s Solace. The piece mimics the way blood flows through the heart, led by a violin, a cello and permeated by an all-string orchestra.

The livestreamed concert is available Saturday, March 13. Visit their website for details about how to tune in.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna ballet and symphony companies join forces for a show celebrating 150 years of Canada' Kelowna ballet and symphony companies join forces for a show celebrating 150 years of Canada
Kelowna ballet and symphony companies join forces for a show celebrating 150 years of Canada – May 4, 2017

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