ALEXANDRIA, VA – At the beginning of the pandemic, the music stopped. The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) cancelled performances or moved them to later dates. But musicians must play. So the ASO thought of ways to bring live music to audiences again.
They are currently receiving recognition throughout the country for programming that lets people enjoy music but puts health and safety first. For their ingenuity, ASO appeared on the most recent cover of Symphony Magazine, the industry’s national trade publication.
Regarding the adaptations made, President of the ASO Board of Trustees Melynda Wilcox said, “A whole new world of interesting and unexpected venues has opened up, many of them overseen by community leaders who are partnering with us to develop new and inspiring ways to bring symphonic music to our neighborhoods.”
With performances following required health guidelines – including social distancing and wearing of masks – ASO has become one of the most successful orchestras for its budget size.
Programs are held outdoors and consists of two to eight musicians. Ongoing performances include ASO on the Patio, which entertains at senior care facilities and ASO on the GO, which plays neighborhood association events.
ASO in the Garden, a popular ticketed event outside of The Rectory on 711 Princess Street, welcomes 30 people. Upcoming performances on October 3 and 4 are sold out.
“At our first outdoor performance after nearly two months of quarantine, the joy of live music was evident not only on the masked faces of our socially-distanced audience, but on the faces of those of us performing,” said Music Director Jim Ross.